Instagram rolls out features to protect young users amid mounting controversies

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The announcement comes a day before the head of Instagram will face lawmakers.

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Instagram on Tuesday announced a number of updates aimed at protecting teens on the app, in an announcement specifically set to testify before lawmakers on the impact of social media on young users of Instagram’s chief Adam Mosseri. .

Mosseri announced the new features in a company blog post on Tuesday, including the launch of a “Take a Break” feature in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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“If someone is scrolling for a certain amount of time, we ask them to take a break from Instagram and suggest that they set a reminder to take more breaks in the future,” Monseri said. “We’ll also show them expert-backed tips to help reflect and reset.”

Mosseri said they will take a stricter approach to the advice they give to teens on the app through search, exploration, hashtags and suggested accounts, and prevent people from tagging or mentioning teens who are theirs. do not follow. Instagram will also start attracting teens to different topics if they have been sticking to one topic for a long time.

“We will also launch our first tool for parents and guardians early next year to help them become more involved in their teen experiences on Instagram,” Mosseri said. “Parents and guardians will be able to see how much time their teens spend on Instagram and set time limits. And we’ll have a new educational center for parents and guardians.”

The first tool for parents and guardians is set to launch in March, and will allow them to see how much time their teens spend on Instagram and set time limits. Teens can also notify their parents if they report someone, which Monserie says can give parents an opportunity to talk about it with their children. The Educational Center for Parents will include additional resources such as tutorials and tips from experts to help them discuss and understand their teen’s social media use.

“As always, I am grateful to the experts and researchers who provide us with their expertise in important areas such as child development, adolescent mental health and online safety, and I am working with lawmakers and policy makers on our shared goal of making a productive one.” I continue to welcome the collaboration. The online world that benefits and protects many generations to come,” Mosseri said.

The update comes after a former Facebook employee testified before lawmakers in October. Whistleblower Frances Haugen accused company executives of gross disregard when she learned that their platforms could have harmful effects on young people’s mental health.

document Leaked in the Wall Street Journal Haugen cited the company’s own internal research to say that Instagram has bad body image for 1 in 3 teenage girls.

Meanwhile, Mosseri is scheduled to testify before a Senate panel on Wednesday for a hearing titled “Protecting Kids Online: Instagram and Reforms for Young Users.” The hearing will begin at 2:30 pm ET.

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