Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri will appear before a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday to discuss steps the popular photo-sharing app is taking to keep teenage users safe on the platform.
Instagram CEO to testify before Senate committee
The testimony of Mosseri’s first before the Senate panel comes after damaging internal reports published in The Wall Street Journal showed that Meta (formerly known as Facebook), which also owns Instagram, knew that the platform was harmful to some teenage girls.
We’ve covered whistleblower Frances Haugen’s claims when she accused Facebook to promote hate speech in order to obtain more profit.
A study conducted by an internal company research group in 2019 found that one third of all teen girls experience body image issues because of Instagram.
Among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, the majority of British and American teens said that Instagram made them feel worse about themselves (13% and 7%, respectively).
Instagram says it regularly conducts research to make sure it’s not causing any problems for users and inspires new ideas through its projects.
Features like allowing users to limit unwanted interactions and filter abusive words from direct messages were based on user feedback. Now Instagram is making the accounts of those under 16 private by default.
Parents will be able to view how much time their kids spend on Instagram and set limits in March.
A new layer is being added to the existing reporting system that allows teens to report someone if they suspect they’ve been harassing or bullying them. They will be able to notify their parents using the same system.
When the hearing starts, we expect Mosseri to talk about how the platform has committed to sharing data with researchers, and how it will design experiences to be safe for all ages.