The effect on children and young people of platforms like Facebook and Instagram is currently the subject of heated debate. Now Facebook apparently wants to equip its subsidiary platform Instagram with the “Take a Break” function to better protect children.
Facebook and Instagram are not in a particularly good position following the revelations by whistleblower Frances Haugen. Especially the report about the toxic effect of Instagram on children and teenagers has made high waves.
Facebook had to react and stopped further development of an Instagram for children for the time being. Now the company has announced a further step to increase the protection of children and young people on the platform.
Instagram to get the “Take a Break” feature
Facebook wants to encourage teenagers to take a break from the platform in the future. This was announced by Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president for global affairs, in a CNN interview on Sunday.
We’re going to encourage teens to just take a break from using Instagram.
Clegg did not disclose a release date for the feature. When asked by The Verge, a Facebook spokesperson announced that the features are “not yet tested.” However, this will happen “soon.”
Instagram wants to prompt kids to look at other content
Clegg also announced a feature designed to keep children away from harmful content. To do that, he said, the app wants to “nudge” kids and teens to look at other content.
If our systems find that teens are looking at the same content over and over again, we’ll get them to look at different content.
In doing so, Instagram will place particular emphasis on content that “may not be conducive to children’s well-being,” he said.
Facebook’s role in the storming of the US Capitol
In the interview with Dana Bash, Nick Clegg also had to answer questions about Facebook’s influence around the events of the Capitol storm on January 6, 2021. In particular, it was about the effect of the Facebook algorithm.
When asked if the algorithm has amplified relevant content, Clegg said he could not answer yes or no to this. The Facebook algorithm must “be held accountable through regulation if necessary.”