According to Facebook vice president of global affairs Nick Clegg, Instagram will add new methods to steer youngsters away from dangerous content and urge them to “take a vacation” from the network.
Clegg made the comments on CNN’s State of the Union broadcast less than a week after Instagram whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before Congress about internal studies showing the app can harm young people’s mental health.
“Whenever our systems recognize that a youngster is looking at the same stuff over and over again, and it’s content that may not be beneficial to their well-being, we’ll encourage them to look at alternative content,” Clegg said.
In addition to postponing plans for an Instagram Kids platform and offering parents choice options to oversee their children, he said the business intended to create a feature dubbed “taking a break,” which would urge adolescents to “just take a break from using Instagram.”
Clegg did not specify a release date for either feature. A Facebook spokeswoman responded to an email from The Verge asking further information, saying the features are “not testing now but will shortly.” The representative cited Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri’s September 27th blog post, in which he stated that the business was “exploring” the functionality.
Before a disturbance at the US Capitol building on January 6th, CNN anchor Dana Bash questioned Clegg if Facebook’s algorithm boosted or disseminated pro-insurgency sentiments. Clegg replied he couldn’t answer the question with a yes or no. Haugen is expected to speak with the committee investigating the attack on January 6th.
“Facebook’s algorithms should be held to account, if necessary, by legislation,” Clegg said, “so that people can square what our systems say they’re meant to do with what really occurs.”
Following revelations from the Wall Street Journal based on internal papers given by Haugen, Facebook has been under fire for several weeks.
Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, testified before Congress on Tuesday about the company’s internal study that found Instagram to be harmful, particularly for young females.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, refuted Haugen’s claim, saying it was irrational for a firm that relies on ads to promote material that makes people upset in order to earn money.