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Facebook to introduce changes to protect teens from 'harmful content'

Facebook to introduce changes to protect teens from harmful content

Following the outcry that was produced by the former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen's revelations that the company was exploiting its userbase for-profits, Facebook has announced that it will be making changes to the Instagram algorithm to protect young teens from constantly viewing harmful content.

"We're going to 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," said Facebook vice-president of global affairs Nick Clegg to CNN.

Facebook also put a hold on its plans to develop a pre-teen friendly version of Instagram and maybe introducing additional measures to allow parents to monitor their children's activity. Haugen had claimed that the company put profits before people and that it was aware of the detrimental impact its content was having on teenagers, especially girls. Constant exposure to social media has been linked to body image and eating disorders and well as pervasive low-self esteem.

Clegg also said that the company's algorithms may be open to regulation in the future as they could potentially be held responsible for the company's ideals reflecting the reality of its practices. He declined to comment on allegations that Facebook algorithms had amplified the Capitol Hill protests this year in which Trump supporters stormed Washington and Capitol Hill.

US senators last week grilled Facebook on its plans to better protect young users on its apps, where Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, has argued for more regulation against technology companies like Facebook.

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TAGS:Facebook Instagram WhatsApp Privacy Facebook whistleblower Technology 
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