A group of US states is investigating how Instagram attracts and treats children and whether it poses a potential risk to them.
The group, made up of both Democrats and Republicans from different states, will also investigate Facebook / Meta’s parent company to determine if consumer protection laws have been violated. This comes after a company informant testified in the United States that the company knew that its products could harm children end of last year.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy, the Democrat who first announced the investigation, wrote on Twitter: “Facebook or Meta knew that Instagram was linked to depression, eating disorders and suicide among young people.” Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, a Republican, said the companies “treat our children as a mere commodity to manipulate.” “These social media platforms are extremely dangerous and have been shown to cause both physical and mental harm to young people,” he added. New York Attorney General Leticia James Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, changed its name to Meta last month after a series of scandals.
A Meta spokesman responded to the accusations against the consortium. “These allegations are false and show a deep misunderstanding of the facts,” the spokesman said in a statement. “While the challenges of protecting young people online are affecting the entire industry, we are at the forefront of the fight against bullying and helping people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, self-harm and eating disorders,” he added.
46 specific harmful effects of using social networks
Researchers at the University of Technology in Sydney have found 46 specific harmful effects of using social networks. These include physical harm, mental health problems, impact on productivity at work or school, as well as problems with security and privacy, reports “Study Finds”. To call this a risk to global health would be an understatement. More than 3.6 billion people, about half the world’s population, use social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. Researchers say that the best way to avoid these dangers is to be more aware of them and to exercise moderation when we are online.
“The harms of social media have been studied primarily from a psychopathological point of view. They have received less attention than information systems researchers,” said Dr. Ayla Erfani, deputy head of the School of Information, Systems and Modeling at the University of Technology.
“Information systems look at the impact of technology on people and organizations to better meet their needs. Identifying and understanding ways to reduce the adverse effects of using social media is part of this challenge,” Erfani continued. “The World Health Organization has recognized the need for further research into information technology addiction and the need to develop strategies to prevent and treat this problem.”
Impairment of social communication
The impairment of social communication which includes both psychological harm, such as depression, anxiety or jealousy, and other harm to consumers, such as loss of time, energy and even money. Irritable Behavior: These harms occur when users view content that irritates, upsets, or irritates them. This usually includes embarrassing, violent, sexual or obscene content.
These are privacy threats related to the storage, reuse or sharing of personal information with third parties.
Security threats: These are damages from fraud or deception that can occur in phishing (malicious attempt to acquire sensitive information such as username, password and credit card details, as the perpetrator accepts someone else’s identity in electronic communications – ed. Note). ) or fraud with social engineering.
This includes any abuse or harassment by groups or individuals who send offensive messages, lie to others, persecute individuals or spread rumors.
This refers to the negative impact that the use of social media can have on work or academic performance.
“Much of the research on the use of social media has focused on its benefits and potential, but we were interested in fully identifying the negative impacts associated with the use of social media,” said Leyla Borun, a doctoral student and author of the study. “We reviewed more than 50 scientific papers published between 2003 and 2018. Some of the most common negative impacts included psychological harm such as jealousy, loneliness, anxiety and low self-esteem, as well as things like malware exposure and phishing risks.”