Info-tech

Instagram chief to testify before US Congress amid probes on platform's impact on young users

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 25, 2021

FILE PHOTO   -  REUTERS

Highlights features & updates introduced for the safety of young users

Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, will be testifying before the US Congress as criticism mounts over concerns related to the safety of young users on the platform.

According to a report by New York Times, Mosseri is expected to appear before a Senate panel during the week of December 6.

Mosseri's testimony is part of a series of hearings that have taken place on protecting children online, according to Senator Richard Blumenthal, who will be leading the hearing.

Mosseri shared a video ahead of the upcoming hearing, responding to the news.

"There's an important discussion happening right now about keeping young people safe online. I've been thinking a lot about how Instagram shows up, and I'm looking forward to sharing more of the work we're doing in the weeks ahead," he captioned the video.

“I’m going to be talking about these issues with Congress relatively soon,” Mosseri saidin the video

“These are important issues, but we all have shared goals. We all want young people to be safe when they’re online," he added.

The Instagram chief highlighted a series of features and updates that the Meta owned photo sharing platform has introduced for the safety of young users, emphasising on parental controls apart from changes such as making young teens’ accounts private by default and restricting the kinds of ads they see.

Mosseri’s appearance comes after a prior hearing with Antigone Davis, the global head of safety for Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook.

The platform has been under the scanner after former employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen made a series of revelations about the social media major including internal research by Facebook and Instagram on the platforms' impact on teenagers and young girls in terms of their mental health.

In September, Davis told Congress that the tech giant did not agree on the premise that Instagram was harmful for teenagers. The Meta safety chief further noted that the leaked research did not have causal data.

However, Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, wrote a letter to Mark Zuckerberg following the hearing suggesting that the company had "provided false or inaccurate testimony to me regarding attempts to internally conceal its research," as per the NY Times report.

Blumenthal, who chairs the subcommittee further added that the hearing will be crucial in guiding regulators to develop laws that can have an impact on *making platforms safer," as per the report.

Published on November 25, 2021

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