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WATCH: ‘Industry body’ that sets standards is best solution for youth safety, says Instagram CEO


An “industry body” that would receive input from civil society, parents and regulators is the best way to protect children online, CEO of Instagram Adam Mosseri testified during a hearing of the Senate Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security Subcommittee on Dec. 8.
“We believe there should be an industry body that will determine the best practices when it comes to…youth safety,” Mosseri said.

“The body should receive input from civil society, from parents and from regulators. The standards need to be high and the protections universal.”

Mosseri said the three most important areas for youth safety on social media platforms were verifying ages, ensuring age appropriate content and building parental controls.
Instagram has come under fire during hearings on social media platforms over the past year for the potential harm done to child users. Mosseri said that protecting users was not the responsibility of Instagram alone and pointed at other social media platforms popular with young people.

“Keeping people safe is not just about any one company….More teens are using Tiktok and YouTube than Instagram. This is an industry wide problem that requires industry wide solutions and industry wide standards,” Mosseri said.

The hearing comes amid heightened scrutiny of social media companies including one of the world’s largest social media platforms — Facebook — and their reported decisions to prioritize growth over other concerns. Facebook is the owner of Instagram.

Former Facebook product manager turned whistleblower Frances Haugen has testified to U.S. and European lawmakers working on those measures in recent months, citing internal company research suggesting that peer pressure generated by Facebook-owned Instagram has led to mental health and body-image problems in young users.

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