Zuckerberg claims a lot of pre-teens & kids want to use Instagram; brushes off concerns | #socialmedia | #children

On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shrugged off questions raised on the concerns about Instagram use for kids. This issue was recently raised in U.S. Congressional Hearing among the world’s social media giants. The topics included– COVID-19 misinformation, harassment, hate speech, fake news and extremism. The big CEOs– Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sundar Pichai of Google, and Jack Dorsey of Twitter addressed a virtual meeting in which they were asked to respond to the inquiries regarding disinformation spreading through web-based media.

Few US Congress members wanted to understand how Facebook keeps kids safe and protects their private data as they questioned Zuckerberg about how youngsters and adolescents utilize Facebook’s platform- ‘Instagram specifically’. 

“Helping people stay connected with friends and learn about different content online is broadly positive,” assured Zuckerberg.

The question came up after news of Facebook surfaced which said that the photo-sharing app (Instagram) of the company is developing a platform for children under the age of 13. At present, as per the Childhood Online Protection Act (COPA), users have to be over 13 to use Instagram. Parents groups have been constantly asking Facebook to accomplish more about online media compulsion, harassment, and the manner in which time spent on social media adversely affect the emotional wellness of the children.

A Congresswoman cited a number of devastating studies on the topic on which Zuckerberg responded “Congresswoman, I’m aware of the issues.” Zuckerberg admitted that there are kids who lie about their age and are able to find access to the platform. This is one of the main reasons why Facebook is exploring Instagram for youngsters.

“We’re early in thinking through how this service would work. There is clearly a large number of people under the age of 13 who would want to use a service like Instagram,” Zuckerberg responded to the Congresswoman, reported ANI.

Impact Of Social Media On Children & Mental Health

After former US President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol building, Facebook Inc and Alphabet’s Google came under fire on March 25 for the tech giants’ impact on children. The lawmakers, who more or less blamed social media including Twitter for inciting the January 6 riot at the US Capitol, zeroes in on Facebook’s plan for a new application for kids and YouTube’s feature that serves up a continuous stream of videos.

Lawmakers ask Dorsey, Zuckerberg, Pichai direct questions

During the heated hearing, Facebook Inc’s Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet Inc were asked “yes or no” including whether their respective platforms bore any responsibility for the January 6 riot at the capitol building and if they understood the difference between the two words. Expressing the frustration, Dorsey tweeted “?” with a poll asking users to vote “yes” or “no” during the hearing. While the poll has now received more than 95,400 votes, Democratic Representative Kathleen Rice called Dorsey out during the session.

(With ANI Inputs)

(Image Credits: AP/Unsplash)

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