For both Instagram and Facebook, the last few weeks were some of the worst since their founding. From the fall of their services for seven hours last week to the complaints that indicated that their social networks are harmful to minors, Mark Zuckerberg’s platforms are engulfed in unprecedented criticism.
The conflict was unleashed after internal documents were leaked in which Facebook recognized that Instagram was a potentially toxic and harmful tool for the mental health of young people, especially adolescents. It was thus that the platform announced that it will implement various tools.
One of them proposes encourage minors to take a “break” from Instagram. The other, to “warn” if they are repeatedly viewing the same content that is not conducive to their well-being.
Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, also plans to introduce new controls for adults or teens as an option so that parents or guardians can monitor what their teens are doing on the social network.
The three app in the eye of the storm. AFP photo
The new controls were outlined Sunday by Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of international affairs, who was on various news shows including CNN’s “State of the Union” and ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”
In front of the cameras, the executive was consulted about the controversial algorithm that Facebook launched as well as the role that the social network played in spreading false information prior to the assault on the Capitol, which occurred on January 6.
“We are constantly taking action to improve our products and monitoring these results,” Clegg told Dana Bash on “State of the Union” on Sunday.
For the kids
The executive also recalled that Facebook had suspended the development of Instagram Kids, a version of its application aimed at children under 13 years of age.
This announcement came as critics pointed out that the plan lacked detail and doubted the new tools are effective. Instead they will give the parents optional controls to monitor teens.
The controversial Instagram Kid never came to light. AP Photo
“We cannot, as if by magic, make everyone’s life perfect. What we can do is improve our products, to make them safe and enjoyable to use,” added Clegg.
The executive also remarked that Facebook has invested $ 13 billion in recent years to ensure that the platform is secure and that some 40,000 people are working on those issues.
The spate of criticism came after whistleblower Frances Haugen, a data scientist who worked for Facebook, testified before Congress last week and accused the social media platform of making no changes to Instagram after an internal investigation. showed that it caused apparent harm to some teenagers.
He also said that the social network was dishonest with its public fight against hate speech and false information. Haugen’s allegations were backed by tens of thousands of pages of internal investigation documents that he secretly copied before leaving his post with the company’s civic integrity unit.
With information from agencies.