Instagram: Teenagers are increasingly becoming addicted to Facebook-owned Instagram, which is a cause for concern since some of the content on the app is harmful. However, now, a Facebook executive has said that the social media giant is working on introducing measures that would try to “nudge” teenagers away from such harmful content. The development has come at a time when the US is looking at the ways in which social media platforms like Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram affect the mental health of youngsters. The development was revealed by Facebook’s global affairs VP Nick Clegg, who also seemed open to the idea of regulators looking at algorithms that amplify content on Facebook.
Clegg’s interview has come days after Facebook whistleblower and former employee Frances Haugen testified that the tech giant enticed users to continue scrolling which harmed the well-being of teenagers.
Clegg in his statement said that Facebook was going to introduce measures that the company believes would make a lot of difference. As per these measures, whenever Facebook’s system sees whether a teenager has been looking at the same content repeatedly, and in case such a content is not conducive to the well-being of the teenager, they will be “nudged” to look at other content.
Apart from this, the social media giant is also looking to introduce something that they have termed “Take a Break”, which would urge teenagers to take a break from using Instagram.
Not many details are known as of now about these new measures that are being worked upon, and therefore, it is not yet clear if these measures would be implemented only on Instagram, on Facebook or both. However, with Instagram being the new preferred social media platform of choice among teenagers, who are not as into Facebook as people were seven to eight years ago, implementing these measures on Instagram would be more crucial than on Facebook. A lot of content that is being posted on social media is bordering on being unsuitable for children, and sadly, most of the time, the content reporting feature on Facebook or Instagram does not help in removing this content. Some of the content that is posted is overly gory, violent or even sexually explicit, and it is a place where parents cannot completely stop their child from getting influenced by content that might not be the healthiest.
While Facebook is trying to assure that these steps would be taken to help teenagers, it is not clear when these measures would be implemented or even how effective they would be. Facebook has for years been trying to pacify users with a ‘trust us’ narrative, trying to assure that they would bring measures that would fix the issues that they have created in the first place, but the platform has yet to effectively deliver on any of those promises.