Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has doubled down on his view that app age verification should be the responsibility of Apple and Google, and not social media companies.
His remarks form part of prepared testimony to Congress, as he and other social media CEOs come under fire for failing to do enough to protect their teenage app users …
Social media companies have come under repeated fire for failing in their duty to protect teenage users from the harmful effects of using their apps.
As we’ve noted before, there have been numerous studies linking excessive smartphone usage in general – and social media apps in particular – to various forms of harm. This includes increased risk of self-harm and suicide.
We can expect all five execs to describe the protective measures they have in place, but many feel that existing tools don’t go far enough. In particular, there are concerns about the content being pushed to teens through algorithms and ads.
Meta argued a few months ago that responsibility should be passed to App Stores and parents.
“With this solution, when a teen wants to download an app, app stores would be required to notify their parents, much like when parents are notified if their teen attempts to make a purchase,” writes Meta’s global head of safety, Antigone Davis. “Parents can decide if they want to approve the download.”
The Financial Times reports that Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress repeats this call.
In pre-prepared testimony, Meta’s Zuckerberg called for lawmakers to instead mandate regulation requiring Apple and Google app stores to verify the age of younger users […]
“We’re also in favour of setting industry standards on age-appropriate content and limiting signals for advertising to teens to age and location, not behaviour,” Zuckerberg said, adding that the company was “ready to work with any member of this Committee who wants to discuss legislation in these areas”.
Testimony begins at 10am ET time today, and you can watch the livestream here.
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