Facebook will add new safety features for teens following bombshell whistleblower leak

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  • Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, answered questions surrounding whistleblower Frances Hogen’s Senate testimony on Sunday.
  • He told multiple morning talk shows that the company will implement new tools to wean users away from harmful content, limit political content, and give parents more control.
  • Some measures will urge users on Instagram to “take a break” for longer periods of time and allow users to reduce the presence of politics on Facebook.

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Facebook will implement new tools to wean users away from harmful content, limit political content and give parents more control over teen Instagram accounts, Nick Clegg, the company’s vice president of global affairs, told multiple morning news shows on Sunday. .

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Although Clegg did not elaborate on the specifics of the tool, he told ABC’s “This Week” that a measure would urge users on Instagram to “take a break” for longer periods. Another feature would prompt teens to look for something else to see content that is harmful to their own well-being.

Clegg also indicated that Instagram Kids, a service for kids 13 and under that the company recently halted, is part of the solution.

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“…we have no business incentive to do anything other than try and make sure the experience is positive,” Clegg said. “We can’t change human nature. We always see bad things online. We do everything we can to try and minimize them.”

The appearance comes after whistleblower Frances Haugen, who is responsible for leaking internal documents to both The Wall Street Journal and Congress, testified before a Senate panel earlier this month, and said the company was persistent in the health of users. and puts its profit on security.

Documents leaked by Haugen prompted a series of stories from the journal, which highlighted a number of issues the company is aware of but either ignores or does not resolve, including That Instagram is harmful to the mental health of teenagers.

The company will begin sending data to an independent audit on the content it publishes every 12 weeks, a move Clegg told ABC he is doing because “we need to keep that to account.” As Congress leaders called for more transparency from the tech giants surrounding user privacy, they also urged lawmakers to step in.

“We are not saying this is in any way a replacement for our own responsibilities, but there are many things that only regulators and lawmakers can do,” he told “Meet the Press” on NBC. “And at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone wants a private company to decide on these difficult trade-offs between free expression on the one hand and moderating or removing content on the other.”

In response to allegations that Facebook promoted the spread of misinformation and hate speech prior to the January 6 Capitol riots, Clegg told CNN’s “State of the Union” that individuals were responsible for their actions.

He added that removing the algorithms would only lead to more misinformation because they serve as “huge spam filters”. The company is also looking at ways for some users to reduce the presence of politics on Facebook.

“Our job is to reduce and reduce the bad and amplify the good and I think those investments, some of that technology and some of the evidence compared to the hate speech from a few years ago shows that we are moving in the right direction. “Meet the press,” he said.

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