In a recently held US Congressional Hearing with world’s social media giants, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, on Thursday (local time) shrugged off the questions raised on the concerns about Instagram use for kids.
In a virtual meeting held titled US Congressional Hearing, the big tech CEOs including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sundar Pichai of Google, and Jack Dorsey of Twitter were asked to respond to inquiries regarding disinformation spreading through web-based media.
During the hearing, questions ran the range from nuanced and on-subject requests about the occasions that hinted at the capitol riots, to conspiracy-theory informed allegations like how Facebook was engaging border smugglers.
Few members from Congress questioned Zuckerberg about how youngsters and adolescents utilise Facebook’s platform like Instagram specifically. Through this the members wanted to understand how Facebook is keeping kids safe, and protecting their private data.
Following this, Zuckerberg replied that the platform is keeping kids safe. He went on to assure the same by stating that, “Helping people stay connected with friends and learn about different content online is broadly positive.”
The question arose after the hot topic news of Facebook surfaced which hinted that the photo-sharing app of the company is working on to develop a platform for children under the age of 13. Currently, in accordance with the Childhood Online Protection Act (COPA), users have to be over 13 to use Instagram.
Being worried about the turn of events, parents groups have been asking Facebook for quite a while to accomplish more about online media compulsion, harassing, and the manners in which time spent via web-based media adversely sway emotional wellness.
That was a question asked by Rep. Kathy Castor as she cited a number of devastating studies on the topic, to which Zuckerberg could only respond: “Congresswoman, I’m aware of the issues.”
Zuckerberg acknowledged under questioning that, yes, there are kids who lie about their age and still find their way onto the platform. It’s one of the reasons why Facebook’s exploring Instagram for kids, he said.
However, Zuckerberg admitted that, indeed, there are kids who lie about their age and still discover their direction onto the platform. It is hence, 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 said in response to a question from Rep. Gus Bilirakis.
However, Castor, who did not get satisfied with Zuckerberg’s answer to her question, put the idea on notice and said, “You know that the brain and social development of our kids is still evolving at a young age. There are reasons in the law that we set that [13-year-old age limit] because these platforms have ignored it. They’ve profited off of it. We’re going to strengthen the law.”
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