Head of Instagram set to testify before Congress on how the app impacts kids

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Instagram testing option to let users choose which posts to see in main feed

The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has agreed to testify before Congress after the Instagram for Children controversy, which started earlier this year. As reported by New York Times“Mr Mosseri is expected to appear before a Senate panel during the week of December 6 as part of a series of hearings on child protection online,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, who will chair the hearing. “

According to the publication, along with Mosseri, Antigone Davis, the global security chief for Meta, and Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee who became a whistleblower, will be part of this testimony.

That NEW said that “in September, Ms. Davis told Congress that the company disputed the premise that Instagram was harmful to teens and noted that the leaked research did not have causal data.”

It is important to note that this controversy started in March, after Buzzfeed reported that Facebook – now Meta – was working on a new version of the popular photosocial network targeting children under 13. Since then, some organizations have criticized the company for trying to create an Instagram for kids.

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So in September, Facebook decided to put its Instagram for kids project on hold and build new parental monitoring tools. At the time, Adam Mosseri said:

We started this project to address a major issue across our industry: kids are getting phones younger and younger, giving incorrect information about their age, and downloading apps designed for those who are 13 years or older.

We are convinced that it is better for parents to have the opportunity to give their children access to a version of Instagram designed for them – where parents can monitor and control their experience – than to rely on an app’s ability to confirm the age of children who are too young to have an ID.

While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we have decided to pause this project. This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policy makers and regulators, to listen to their concerns and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project to younger teens online today.

Despite the public statement, Senator Richard Blumenthal still wants to hear from Mosseri in the Consumer Protection Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee to rectify everything. Senator said:

“He’s the best guy on Instagram, and the whole nation is asking why Instagram and other technology platforms have created so much danger and harm by sending toxic content to kids with these incredibly powerful algorithms,” said Mr. Blumenthal, who is the chairman of the subcommittee. . “The consultation will be crucial to guide us in developing laws that can have an impact on making platforms more secure.”

According to NEW, a Meta spokeswoman, Dani Lever, gave the following statement: “We continue to work with the committee to find a date for Adam to testify about the important steps Instagram is taking.”

So far, Instagram does not plan to launch Instagram for children, but since the company still intends to introduce such a thing in the future, it is only natural for Congress to be told about the consequences it will have on teens’ lives.

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