Instagram to Roll-Out a New Feature to Nudge Teens from Harmful Content

Updated on Oct 11, 2021 05:45 PM IST  |  27K
   
Instagram to Roll-Out a New Feature to Nudge Teens from Harmful Content
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Last week, a series of outages grabbed headlines, with Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all being down for extended periods. But, perhaps, more importantly, the social media behemoth is coming under fire for the possible harmful effects Facebook and Instagram are having on young children, especially teens.

According to Facebook's vice president of global affairs Nick Clegg, Instagram will adopt new methods to steer kids away from harmful content and encourage them to "take a break" from the platform. Clegg did not specify when it would be ready, but it was apparent that the goal was to minimize addiction and other harmful behaviors. Facebook will "nudge" kids away from the content in its apps that "may not be conducive to their well-being," according to the social media executive.

 

'Take a Break' Feature

Nick Clegg explained about the ‘take a break’ feature and he added, "Where our systems see that a youngster is looking at the same content over and over again, and it's content that may not be conducive to their well-being, we'll urge them to look at alternative content." The social media business intends to minimize the quantity of political content in users' feeds in favor of content from friends on the platform. "More friends, fewer politics," is the new mantra.

In addition, he said the company planned to deploy a feature called "taking a break," which would encourage kids to "simply take a break from using Instagram," in addition to postponing plans for an Instagram Kids platform and allowing parents optional options to observe their children.

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Last week, Facebook announced that they are testing two new ideas: encouraging people to look at other topics if they're stuck on content that could lead to negative social comparison, and a feature tentatively dubbed "Take a Break," where people could pause their account and consider whether the time they're spending is meaningful. The anticipated modifications come as a result of Facebook whistleblower Francis Haugen's scathing revelations.

After reports from the Wall Street Journal based on internal papers provided by Haugen, Facebook has been under fire for several weeks. Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, testified before Congress on the company's internal research that found Instagram to be hazardous, particularly for teen girls. Some of Haugen's worries may be addressed by the new methods. She claimed Facebook was aware that its algorithms were harming children by exposing them to hazardous content and eliminating only a small percentage of hate speech.

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What is Facebook's whistleblower case?
A Facebook Inc (FB.O) whistleblower accused the social media giant of repeatedly prioritising profit over cracking down on hate speech and misinformation, and said her lawyers had filed at least eight complaints with the US Securities and Exchange Commiss

What is Instagram’s ‘take a break' feature?
The company has planned to deploy a feature called "taking a break," which would encourage kids to "simply take a break from using Instagram. Where their systems see that a youngster is looking at the same content over and over again, and its content that

Who is a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is a person, generally an employee, who exposes unlawful, illicit, unsafe, or fraudulent activities within a private, public, or government institution.

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