Instagram strengthened its protections for teenagers on the eve of a Senate hearing on whether it was “toxic” to young users.
“I see every day the positive impact of Instagram on young people around the world,” CEO Adam Mosseri said in a post.
“I want to make sure it stays this way, which means the most important thing is to keep them safe on Instagram.”
Instagram’s parent company Meta is also responsible for overseeing Facebook. After a whistleblower leaked a large number of internal documents, the company was dealing with a serious reputation crisis. These documents showed that executives knew their website was a risk to the well-being of teenagers, which prompted The United States renewed its supervision.
Mosseri will testify at a Senate committee hearing on Wednesday entitled “Protecting Children Online: Instagram and Reforms for Young Users.”
“Following heavy reports on Instagram’s toxic impact, we want to hear directly from the company’s leadership why it uses powerful algorithms to push toxic content to children, drive them down the rabbit hole into a dark place, and how it will take What measures make the platform more secure,” said Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Mosseri said that Instagram will be stricter about what it recommends to young users and prevent people from mentioning young people who do not follow them on the platform.
Mosseri said that Instagram will also begin to “push” young people to follow new topics if they have been following them for a while, and advise them to take a break after spending a lot of time on the platform.
“If someone has been scrolling for a while, we will ask them to take a break from Instagram,” Mosseri said.
According to Instagram, the break advice feature has been launched in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, and will be expanded to other countries early next year.
Mosseri said the platform also introduces an education center for parents to “help them be more involved in the teenage experience” and provide them with tools to limit the time their children spend on the app.
Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn said in a statement: “Meta is trying to divert attention by introducing parental guidelines, using timers, and content control features that consumers should always have.”
“My colleagues and I have seen through what they are doing.”
Meta strongly opposes allegations that its platform is “toxic” to teenagers or puts profits above user safety.
Faced with pressure, the company previously announced that it would suspend but will not abandon the development of an Instagram version for users under 13 years of age.