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Advancing Digital Conversations

Facebook Unveils New Controls For Kids Using Its Platforms

ByMike Paul

Nov 5, 2021

Social media is a wonderful place, with billions of users worldwide using popular apps such as Facebook and Instagram to express themselves and create an all-inclusive environment wherein a person from any corner of the world can log in and view the available content. Apps like Facebook, and more recently Instagram, have been a hotspot for kids as well, with many kids wanting to hop onto the trend train and see what it is that makes these apps so special. However, there is always a hidden danger when it comes to public spaces as regards youngsters, with recent backlash exposing the caveats that come with kids using the app, the danger has become more apparent now than ever.

The California based company has made strides towards introducing new and intuitive controls that give concerned elders and family members access to their teens and children’s Facebook activity, and this has created an opportunity for parents to be more aware of what the world of social media might look like from a person seeing it through their eyes.

Another initiative that Facebook is actively pursuing is its side project ‘Instagram for kids,’ this is a specialized initiative that is geared towards creating a more kid-friendly version of the app that allows them to access all the content they wish to without having to worry about illicit content of any sort or any other harmful content.

Nick Clegg, Vice President at Facebook, outlined the new controls and made clear how Facebook was planning towards a more inclusive environment that focuses on creating a platform for everyone. He made the rounds on various tv shows such as CNN’s “State of The Union,” where he was intensely questioned on Facebook’s commitment and inclination towards creating a more child-friendly platform.

He was apprehensive of the criticism and reassured the crowd on Facebook’s commitment towards a platform for all. He commented, “We cannot with the wave of a wand make people’s lives perfect; what we can do is work on our product so it can continue to be safe and enjoyable to use”

He also said, “Facebook has invested 13 Billion USD in ensuring on-platform security”, and stated that upwards of 40,000 people we committed to making Facebook Safe-For-All. he said that while they have been directing major efforts towards making Facebook more secure, he was always open to any regulation and more oversight.

He was of the view that Facebook is an app for people. Therefore total transparency is something they strive towards; he believes that if necessary, it should be looked at by regulators who could better ensure the masses towards the safe and secure nature of the app.

This issue came to light because of Frances Haugen, a former data scientist who worked with Facebook; the person went to congress and presented the facts as he knew them and accused the social media platform of not being attentive to users’ needs.

Josh Golin, a leading expert in the field of the children media and marketing industry, suggested that making the necessary changes and creating an account that adults can supervise is something that would yield no results, this was because teens a such are always liable to make ‘secret accounts’ to do the things they want to do.

 He also recommended that nudging teens or lecturing them on how to break away from harmful content and activities would also not help.

In light of these recent comments, it can be made clear that Facebook is making efforts towards better regulating its online space.

Mike Paul

Mike was one of the founding members of DMR, he was a pivotal figure in the early stages of DMR. Mike has since left the team to pursue his career in software development.