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Self-regulation not working in social media: White House

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Jen Psaki was responding to questions about revealing interviews by Frances Haugen. (file)

Washington:

Social media platforms have made it clear that self-regulation isn’t working, the White House said on Monday, amid disturbing reports about efforts to attract younger users and the negative impact on teens’ mental health.

“As we looked at the revelations that surfaced in that interview, in our view, this is the latest in a series of revelations about the social media platform that make clear that self-regulation is not working. is and has been the view of this administration,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference.

Psaki was responding to questions about a disclosed interview by Francis Haugen, a former product manager hired to help protect Facebook from election interference.

“They validate the significant concern that the president and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed about how the social media giant operates and the power they have wielded,” said Psaki.

“Reports in recent weeks, and I think clearly surfaced last night in the whistleblower report, efforts to attract younger users and the negative impact on adolescent mental health are certainly troubling. They hardly differ There are incidents. And so, our effort is going to be: continue to support fundamental reforms, efforts to address these issues,” Saki said.

“Obviously, this will be within the purview of Congress, but of course, we see these continuing in a series of revelations about the power of these platforms,” ​​the White House press secretary said.

Meanwhile, Senator Edward Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, wrote to Facebook seeking answers after new research found the company failed to meet commitments it made regarding the promotion of harmful ads to teen Facebook users. .

“These findings cast serious doubts on Facebook’s compliance with promises made publicly by your employees, and they are particularly in light of other recent reports suggesting that Facebook has direct knowledge that its Platforms are harmful to young people,” Markey wrote in his letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“I request a detailed review of the steps you are currently taking and the steps you are taking to target teen users with inappropriate and dangerous content, along with a detailed explanation of the apparent inconsistency between Facebook’s commitments and your platform’s practices.” are planning to stop allowing to do so,” he said.

As recently as September 2021, Facebook allowed advertisers to target teen users under the age of 13 with inappropriate and dangerous content, including “pill abuse,” according to research conducted by the Campaign for Accountability’s Tech Transparency Project. , alcoholic beverages,” promotions. anorexia, smoking, dating services and gambling.”

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