Over the past month, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has leaked a series of internal company memos that revealed its apparent callousness toward young users. According to some of the documents first reported in The Wall Street Journal, Facebook has known for years that its platform can be harmful for young users, but has done nothing to change it. However, following these devastating revelations, the company revealed that this week that it will begin “nudging” these users away from 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,” Facebook vice president of global affairs Nick Clegg told CNN.
Clegg also said that the company will introduce a feature called “Take a break” that will prompt teens to temporarily log off Instagram. Of course, the Facebook exec didn’t reveal exactly how these tools will work, or when we will even see them. So while they represent a small step in the right direction, these features shouldn’t be counted on to save the day anytime soon.
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