Nova Scotia Journal

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The US is reviewing whether Instagram is harmful to children

Instagram is harmful to children

Key Takeaways:

  • A bipartisan group of state attorneys worldwide announced that they had launched an investigation against Facebook, now known as Meta Platforms.
  • Facebook for pushing its subsidiary Instagram to youngsters despite the risks.

The inquiry, which includes at least nine states, comes when Facebook’s approach to minors and young people is scrutinized. In emailed remarks, the attorney’s general said they examined whether the company violated consumer protection rules and put young people at risk.

“Facebook, now Meta, has failed to preserve young people on its platforms, instead choosing to ignore or, in cases, double down on known manipulations. That pose a substantial threat to physical and mental health exploiting children for profit,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a news.

According to a Meta spokesperson, “these accusations are false and demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of the facts.”

“While challenges in protecting young people online affect the entire industry,” the spokesperson said, “we have led the industry in combating bullying and supporting people struggling with suicidal thoughts, self-injury, and eating disorders.”

They added that the firm is still working on parental supervision measures and is looking into age-appropriate activities for teens by default.

Like other social media platforms, Instagram has restrictions prohibiting children under the age of 13 from joining, although it has acknowledged that it has users of this age.

In September, the firm announced postponing plans for a children’s version of Instagram, citing rising opposition to the initiative. Still, according to a Wall Street Journal investigation, internal documents released by former Facebook team member Frances Haugen showed the firm understood that Instagram might have detrimental mental health consequences on young girls. The hacked data, according to Facebook, were used to present a false picture of the company’s efforts.

In recent months a group of higher than 40 state attorneys had recorded to the business, urging it to abandon plans for the children’s app, and politicians had expressed worry. Nebraska, Massachusetts, California, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey are among the states under scrutiny.

Source: Global News

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