Instagram reveals its new teen safety protocols just a day ahead of its senate hearing regarding the “platform’s potential risks to kids and teens.”
According to Instagram, it has worked on new tools that will help the users to manage the time spent on the app as well as limitations that can be imposed over “unwanted interactions with adults and exposure to sensitive content”.
The social media platform will also offer the parents to have an oversight of their kid’s accounts.
Instagram has been under major criticism after a whistleblower disclosed that the app can actually harm its users by exacerbating body images as well as other mental health issues especially targeting teenage girls.
“We’re releasing this feature because we want people to be able to take a break and have their time on Instagram be intentional and meaningful — irrespective of whether that means seeing less ads or not,” Meta spokeswoman Liza Crenshaw said.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri is said to testify on Wednesday to the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security.
It is expected that he will face immense grilling regarding the potential harm the social media platform imposes on young minds and what actually is being done by the company.
“I’m proud that our platform is a place where teens can spend time with the people they care about, explore their interests, and explore who they are,” Mosseri wrote in a blog post on Tuesday announcing the new features. “I want to make sure that it stays that way, which means above all keeping them safe on Instagram. We’ll continue doing research, consulting with experts, and testing new concepts to better serve teens.”
After the immense pressure, Instagram announced in September that it will create a version for children under the age of 13 where they will be working more closely with experts, lawmakers, and parents before proceeding with the newer version.
The statement of the Head of Instagram was slammed by Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, one of the top Republicans in the subcommittee which will hold the hearing on Wednesday. She stated, “the company will do little to substantively make their products safer for kids and teens.”
She further said “Meta is attempting to shift attention from their mistakes by rolling out parental guides, use timers, and content control features that consumers should have had all along.”
Despite the government’s progressive measures to restrict Instagram from featuring explicit content for children under 13, they cannot protect users from the risk of cyberattacks. Several loopholes in the Instagram app puts users’ privacy at risk.
There are tools like Picuki and Smihub that allow people who are not on Instagram to view private profiles. So, what does the organization has to say about it?