Kids are on the internet. We all know this, as do the companies that provide us services. SnapChat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all have kids on their platforms. Although there are a few safeguards (must be 13 or older to use it), there are ways to get around that. Lie.
Facebook preys on young adults. It allows kids to rack up huge bills while playing their games, without parental consent. Algorithms are put in place to take advantage of the drug-like effect Social Media causes. Calculated efforts are made to make these kids feel a certain way, and act a certain way. Ads are specifically targeted toward teens that are feeling “insecure and worthless” and the social network shares psychological insights on young people with advertisers. (source) (source)
The internal report produced by Facebook executives, and obtained by the Australian, states that the company can monitor posts and photos in real time to determine when young people feel “stressed”, “defeated”, “overwhelmed”, “anxious”, “nervous”, “stupid”, “silly”, “useless” and a “failure”.
Facebook, which has faced severe criticism in the past over research in which it sought to alter the emotions of users, without their consent, provided somewhat contradictory statements in response to the story in the wake of its publication on Sunday.
Several teens have committed suicide on Facebook Live. Bullying is rampant, and some teens post inappropriate pictures to Facebook, which of course invites pedophiles to join their network. The same can be said here for SnapChat and YouTube of course.
If you frequent YouTube, you can find a cornucopia of inappropriate, yet “allowed” videos featuring children.
Youtube’s recommended algorithm is facilitating pedophiles’ ability to connect with each-other, trade contact info, and link to actual CP in the comments. I can consistently get access to it from vanilla, never-before-used Youtube accounts via innocuous videos in less than ten minutes, in sometimes less than five clicks.. Additionally, I have video evidence that these videos are being monetized by Youtube, brands like McDonald’s, Lysol, Disney, Reese’s, and more.
Even more unnerving are all the videos aimed at kids, found on YouTube Kids:
When Hess went to YouTube Kids and started exploring the site, what she saw there shocked her. She said she found videos glorifying not only suicide but sexual exploitation and abuse, human trafficking, gun violence and domestic violence.
SnapChat is a whole other ballgame…a pedophile’s playground. You can only imagine the pictures teens post on there, and who sees them, shares them, likes them. 200,000 hacked photos were leaked in 2014 alone, many of naked celebrities, and many of naked children and teens.
The bill introduced to improve safety, called the Kids Internet Design and Safety (KIDS) Act, lays out six areas for new regulation:
- Ending “manipulative and damaging design features” that push children to spend more time with screens, such as autoplay video
- Implementing rules that dictate how and what ads kids see online
- Creating rules that make sure algorithms do not surface extreme content to children
- Requiring companies give parents guidance on “kid-healthy content”
- Establishing incentives for “positive content creation”
- Creating a transparency requirement for tech companies around automated systems, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission
Until you get the phones and tablets out of your children’s hands, I fail to see how any of this will help. Online predators will find your children’s content, share it, sell it. Advertisers will still target these kids, kids will still be exposed to inappropriate content, and still be a part of inappropriate content. Worst of all, Social Media companies will still find ways to target and manipulate young minds.
I’m guessing this Senator doesn’t know much about the internet, or this bill would be much more aggressive.
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