Facebook seeks to dampen public scrutiny with pause on ‘Instagram for kids’

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Facebook is suspending plans to create an “Instagram for Kids” and instead focuses on teen safety and parental supervision features for its younger users.

Brooke Erin Duffy, professor of communications, studies the intersection of media, culture and technology, said the shift in focus is an attempt to alleviate public concerns.

Duffy says, “Platforms have recently sought to woo increasingly younger users, presumably an attempt to stay relevant in a cultural moment dominated by TikTok. Instagram has received considerable backlash for its pursuit of teens. This was especially the case after investigative reports confirmed that company executives were aware of its potential negative impact on mental health. The emphasis on “security” features is an attempt to alleviate public concerns that platform users have little recourse in the face of hate, harassment and network trolling. .

“Above all, members of marginalized communities – women, people of color, LGBTQ +, among others – are particularly vulnerable to these expressions. Not only do they signal that platforms fail to protect them, but in addition, that platforms may algorithmically privilege such negativity.

“Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether the new features will lead to lasting change, or whether the announcement is lip service at a critical time.”

Natalie Bazarova, associate professor, examines socio-psychological and communication processes in social media and mobile interactions. Bazarova explores how children can learn to navigate the online world.

Bazarova says: “A more fundamental issue brought to light by this controversy concerns preparing children for social media sites and applications and how to help them enter the online world. What can parents, educators and the tech industry do to support this transition, and how can we help young people not only survive, but thrive in the “social media jungle”?

“Social Media Lab has developed a free and secure platform called Social Media TestDrive to teach young people the ‘rules of the road’ through experiential learning in a simulated social media environment. Learning how to react when you see cyberbullying, how to positively shape a digital footprint, what is safe to share online, and how to protect your privacy are some of the lessons kids can learn before embarking on a real bitch. -social media form. – Newswise


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