A recent whistleblower testimony basically outlined how the company is incentivized from a financial standpoint to permit questionable content and behavior.
If you missed that thread, you can read up about it here.
Essentially, this whistleblower’s testimony undercut all of the headway the company attempted to make with a raft of policy changes. And now they’re going even deeper.
Facebook’s president recently outlined to Reuters how they would change their targeting system to avoid showing teenagers harmful content.
Facebook's vice president of global affairs and former UK MP Nick Clegg told CNN’s “State of the Union” program that “algorithms” should be held to account.
Specifically, he said the company would “…introduce something which I think will make a considerable difference, which is where our systems see that the teenager is looking at the same content over and over again and it's content which may not be conducive to their well-being, we will nudge them to look at other content.”
One of the changes Clegg discussed is something called “take a break” which, as the name implies, will ask teen users to spend some time away from Instagram.
Of course, whether or not this will be enough to head off any kind of government regulation or intervention remains to be seen. We reported on how the company scrapped a planned “for Kids” version of their Instagram app so these things do have an impact. The question remains whether or not social media can be trusted to self-regulate which, sorry to say, doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. In many ways, Facebook’s changes could be seen as a proactive way to incorporate organic modifications rather than being forced to accept fiat standards imposed from on high at a later date.
Do you think Facebook can avoid regulation or will it be able to handle things on its own with regards to how its platform targets certain users? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram’s current state in the comments below.
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