Following concerns regarding safety of children on its platform, Facebook Inc. is introducing new features like prompting teens to take a break while using Instagram and alerting them in case they repeatedly view content which may be inappropriate.
The social media giant is also seeking to extend new controls to adults on an optional basis so that parents or guardians can monitor their kid’s online activity.
These steps have been undertaken after Facebook announced in Septeember’21 that it will be temporarily halting work on its Instagram for Kids platform. However, critics argue that the proposed plan lacks details and are skeptical if the new features will be effective or not.
According to Nick Clegg, Vice-President, Global Affairs at Facebook, the entity has invested close to USD 13 billion in the last few years to ensure that the social media platform is safe for which Facebook also has nearly 40,000 employees working to resolve the safety issues.
Mentioning that Facebook has done its best to block harmful content on its platform, Mr. Nick stated that they welcome more regulation and oversight. He added that the systems that Facebook has must be held to account, if needed, by regulations so that people can match what its systems claim and what happens.
For the record, Facebook’s safety raised eyebrows when Frances Haugen, an ex-data scientist with the company went before Congress in the first week of October’21 to accuse Facebook of failing to make alterations to Instagram after an internal study showcased harm to certain teens along with being dishonest in its fight against misinformation and hate.
Haugen’s allegations were backed by thousands of pages of internal research documents that she had discreetly copied before resigning from the company.
Josh Golin, Exec. Director of Fairplay, claims that introducing controls to help parents supervise teens would not be effective as many teens have secret accounts. He added that Facebook should show precisely how it would implement these tools and offer research that backs their effectiveness.