Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri will testify before Congress on Wednesday about how the social media platform handles the safety of young users. Mosseri will have to respond to whistleblower revelations that the company is doing little to protect teens from the platform’s dangerous effects.
An internal report from parent company Facebook, which recently changed its name to Meta, found that Instagram negatively affects teens’ self-esteem, especially teenage girls. Instagram already announced on Tuesday that it will be adding a new feature to its app that will remind users to take a digital break every now and then. Instagram also wants to limit interactions between teens and people they don’t follow and provide more parental controls.
The feature will be available first in the US, UK, Canada and Australia and will be available to everyone in the coming months.
Richard Blumenthal, chair of the Congressional Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, said the new features are “small steps” Instagram should have taken a long time ago. Democratic Senator Blumenthal and other senators said they do not trust tech companies to control themselves and vowed to enforce stricter privacy rules and hold platforms accountable for how information is released.
In October, whistleblower Frances Hogan testified before the same congressional subcommittee. A former Facebook employee has accused the social media company of behaving unethically. Haugen, who was responsible for combating disinformation as a Facebook employee, said the company had done nothing about upsetting internal investigations and had not done enough against fake news and conspiracy theories.
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