Saturday, February 24, 2024

Instagram and Meta Accused of Neglecting Reports of Parental Exploitation: A Tech Blogger's Take

 In a shocking revelation today, two separate reports have accused Instagram and its parent company, Meta, of overlooking reports of parents exploiting their own children for financial gain through subscription-based services.

Meta Ignores Reports of Parental Exploitation of Children

While Facebook and Instagram Meta prohibit children under the age of 13 from having their own accounts, the company allows "parent-managed accounts for minors," where children can be present on the platform — including the option to sell paid content to adults.

Paid reports from both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal claim that this feature has been misused by parents to sexually exploit their children. The Verge has succinctly summarized these allegations.

Some of the "parent-managed accounts for minors" under investigation were found selling material to a broad audience, consisting of adult men. This material includes photos of their children in revealing clothing, exclusive chat sessions, and second-hand tight-fitting clothing and cheerleading outfits for their children.

According to The Wall Street Journal, even though these parent-managed accounts did not display illegal content or nudity, Meta's staff discovered that some parents intentionally produced material involving their children deemed sexually satisfying by pedophiles. This included parents engaging in sexually charged conversations about their children and having them interact with sexual messages sent by customers. Meta's staff also allegedly knew that the company's algorithm promoted subscription accounts featuring child models to suspected pedophiles and that some parents offered additional content for their children on other platforms.

This comes in light of previous reports that Instagram had issues with adult men seeking inappropriate photos of children.

Staff raised concerns about these parent-managed accounts, but the company reportedly failed to take action. Meta has not responded to requests for comment from The Verge.

Zuckerberg Defies Personal Responsibility in Legal Lawsuits

Separately, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg argues that he cannot be personally held accountable for lawsuits alleging that the company deliberately sought to make children addicted to its app.

Hundreds of legal claims have been filed against Meta and other social media companies, with a judge ruling late last year that these claims should be allowed to proceed.

However, some individuals have sued Zuckerberg personally, holding him responsible for policy-making, and Bloomberg reports that he is now seeking to have these cases dismissed.

Mark Zuckerberg is attempting to evade personal responsibility in two dozen lawsuits alleging that Meta Platforms Inc. and other social media companies have made children addicted to their products.

The Meta CEO will present his case in a Friday hearing in a federal court in California. A favorable decision for Zuckerberg would dismiss him as a personal defendant in litigation without affecting charges against Meta.


Post a Comment