Instagram To Ask Teens To Take Break From Social Media; Is It Enough?


Instagram and Facebook have been facing the heat lately, especially after a whistleblower revealed startling truths about the social media platforms. To combat the rising backlash, Instagram has introduced new features on its platform. The new measures on social media apps aim to prompt teens to stay away from harmful content or to take a break.

Instagram To Ask Teens To Take Break From Social Media

Instagram Take A Break Feature

Facebook VP of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said the platform and its subsidiaries are introducing new measures to prompt teens away from harmful content. The new measures come into the limelight just as US lawmakers are checking into how Facebook and other social media platforms are affecting young people's mental health.

The recent testimony from the whistleblower and former Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, throws light on how Facebook knew its effects on mental health on its users, especially teenagers. US lawmakers are now urging Facebook to better protect the mental health of its users. This is why Facebook and Instagram will now ask teenagers to "take a break" from using social media. Here, the platform "will be prompting teens to just simply just take a break from using Instagram," Clegg said to CNN.

Instagram To Ask Teens To Take Break From Social Media

Facebook To "Nudge" Teens To Look Away

Apart from this, Facebook is also introducing another measure that "nudges" teens to look away from content or scroll through social media. "We're going to introduce something which I think will make a considerable difference, which is where our systems see that the teenager is looking at the same content over and over again and it's content which may not be conducive to their well-being, we will nudge them to look at other content," Clegg said.

The new measure once again comes into the picture after revelations from the whistleblower who recently testified before the US senate. She had testified that Facebook urges users to keep scrolling, despite knowing that it was harming teenagers' well-being and mental health.

Instagram To Ask Teens To Take Break From Social Media

Facebook's New Measures: Is It Enough?

The Facebook outage that occurred almost back-to-back two times last week has been a downhill ride for the popular social media platform. Followed by the whistleblower's testimony, Facebook is once again receiving backlash from lawmakers, parents, and almost everyone who values privacy and mental health.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, urged for more regulation against technology companies like Facebook. "It's time to protect those moms and dads that have been struggling with their kids getting addicted to the platform and been exposed to all kinds of bad stuff," Klobuchar said.

Instagram To Ask Teens To Take Break From Social Media

She further stated that it was time for a new privacy policy where people had the choice to "opt-in" if they didn't mind their data being shared. Plus, the US should update their children's privacy laws, Klobuchar argued. Moreover, social media platforms and tech companies need to make their algorithms more transparent to let us know what's really going on.

Following this, Clegg has also agreed to let regulators access Facebook algorithms that are used to amplify content. He further said the algorithms "should be held to account, if necessary, by regulation so that people can match what our systems say they're supposed to do from what actually happens." The new measures are surely an opening into the giant system and its impact could amplify over time.

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