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WATCH: Age verification to ensure youth safety should also be on devices, Instagram head says

PBS, 09 Dec 2021
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. questioned Instagram head Adam Mosseri during a Senate subcommittee hearing regarding child safety on the social media platform on Dec. 8.
Klobuchar asked Mosseri about what Instagram is doing to ensure kids on the platform are old enough to be a part of it.

"I think there's a number of things that we can do at the industry level to better verify age, specifically I believe it would be much more effective to have an age verification at the device-level," Mosseri said. Mosseri argued that it would provide another layer of protection against younger children joining social media platforms.

Klobuchar added that teens seem to be a major driver in Instagram's profits, and noted that there is little competition to diffuse teen use of social media because Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, owns a large share of them.

Instagram executive Adam Mosseri is testifying in the hearing amid heightened scrutiny of social media companies including one of the world’s largest social media platforms — Facebook — and their reported decisions to prioritize growth over other concerns. Facebook is the owner of Instagram.

Former Facebook product manager turned whistleblower Frances Haugen has testified to U.S. and European lawmakers working on those measures in recent months, citing internal company research suggesting that peer pressure generated by Facebook-owned Instagram has led to mental health and body-image problems in young users.

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