Teens on social media need both protection and privacy – AI could help get the balance right

Meta announced on Jan. 9, 2024, that it will protect teen users by blocking them from viewing content on Instagram and Facebook that the company deems to be harmful, including content related to suicide and eating disorders. The move comes as federal and state governments have increased pressure on social media companies to provide safety measures for teens.

At the same time, teens turn to their peers on social media for support that they can’t get elsewhere. Efforts to protect teens could inadvertently make it harder for them to also get help.

Congress has held numerous hearings in recent years about social media and the risks to young people. The CEOs of Meta, X – formerly known as Twitter – TikTok, Snap and Discord are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 31, 2024, about their efforts to protect minors from sexual exploitation.

The tech companies “finally are being forced to acknowledge their failures when it comes to protecting kids,” according to a statement in advance of the hearing from the committee’s chair and ranking member, Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), respectively.

Read the full article from The Conversation

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