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Facebook to 'nudge' teens looking at harmful content

PUBLISHED ON 2021-10-12 02:47:00 EST Shubhangi

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Facebook will prompt users to 'take a break' from Instagram after prolonged use

Social media giant urges lawmakers to step in as pressure mounts

Facebook would introduce new measures to restrict harmful content and give more control to parents on teen Instagram accounts, said the company’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg.

Clegg told ABC that the one of measures would include nudging teens who are looking at content harmful to their well-being to look at something else.

Facebook would also urge users who are on Instagram to “take a break” after prolonged use.

“We have no commercial incentive to do anything other than try and make sure that the experience is positive,” Clegg said. 

Whistleblower leak

“We can’t change human nature. We always see bad things online. We can do everything we can to try to reduce and mitigate them.”

Clegg added that Instagram Kids, created for children aged 13 and below, is a part of the solution. The company had to pause work on the kids version of Instagram app amid mounting pressure from lawmakers.

Also Read: Facebook pauses work on Instagram Kids amid criticism of the app

Clegg has made the statements as the whistleblower Frances Haugen alleges that the tech giant puts its own profits over users’ health and safety.

The company’s documents leaked by Haugen were the source of the Wall Street Journal’s report which said that Facebook has taken no steps despite knowing Instagram’s negative impact on teenagers, especially girls.

Political pressure

As political pressure mounts on the company, Clegg urged lawmakers to step in.

“We’re not saying this is somehow a substitution of our own responsibilities, but there are a whole bunch of things that only regulators and lawmakers can do,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 

Also Read: Whistleblower accuses Facebook of prioritizing profit over public safety

“And at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone wants a private company to adjudicate on these really difficult trade-offs between free expression on one hand and moderating or removing content on the other.”

Facebook’s Oversight Board announced on Monday that Haugen in scheduled to speak with the board in the coming weeks.

Picture Credits: Reuters

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