Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri passed his first US Congressional hearing on Wednesday (8). The executive was summoned by the country’s senators to explain recent events involving the social network, especially how the platform treats young users.
In the speeches, Mosseri argued that Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, cares about teenage users and takes steps to prevent harm and abuse. The CEO made some promises and suggestions, such as citing the creation of industry standards for age verification and tighter parental controls, and suggesting that a group be formed to receive the network’s reports and assess whether it is on the right track.
Despite appearing more confident and providing more objective answers than Mark Zuckerberg on previous occasions, Mosseri has not escaped some criticism. The executive has mainly been targeted by senators who believe Instagram has taken “baby steps” toward these improvements, with features that won’t reduce addiction or harm already done to users.
Senator Marsha Blackburn, of the Republican Party from Tennessee, disagrees that self-regulation is enough and suggested that Congress needed to determine the laws. Hearings on the topic are expected to continue, this time with “former Facebook employees” who have not been named.
Instagram is one of the main targets of accusations in recent months involving Meta, the result of the leak of documents by Frances Haugen, a former executive of the company.
The photo and video platform was accused of neglecting studies that proved damage to the mental health of teenage girls and not taking action to reduce the negative feelings generated by intense use of the app.
As a result of the reports, the company began rolling out new safety and wellness tools, such as usage limits for teens, alerts for you to take a break from the feed, and selfies to confirm identity. Instagram has also temporarily canceled the launch of a Kids version, aimed only at children’s use.