Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reiterated his view that app age verification should be the responsibility of Apple and Google, and not social media companies.
His remarks are part of prepared testimony to Congress as he and other social media executives come under fire for failing to do enough to protect their teen app users…
Social media has been proven to have harmful Impact on Teens
Social media companies have been repeatedly criticized for failing to fulfill their responsibilities to protect teen users from the harmful effects of using their apps.
As we noted earlier, There is a wealth of research linking excessive use of smartphones in general – and social media apps in particular – to various forms of harm. This includes an increased risk of self-harm and suicide.
Social Media CEOs Testify Before Congress
As we reported yesterday, the CEOs of TikTok, Snap, Discord and X are appearing before Congress to defend claims that they are not doing enough to protect children.
We can expect all five leaders to describe the defenses they have in place, but many believe existing tools are not effective enough. In particular, there are concerns about content being driven to teens through algorithms and advertising.
Verifying the age of an application is not Meta's job, says Zuckerberg
Best comment from Pedro Capello
This doesn't make sense. As long as Facebook is accessible over the Internet, Facebook is responsible for verifying the age of users.
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Several months ago, Meta argued that responsibility should be transferred to app stores and parents.
“With this solution When a teen wants to download an app, app stores will be required to notify their parents, just as parents are notified if their teen attempts to make a purchase,” writes Meta Global Head of Security Antigone Davis. “Parents can decide whether they want to approve the download.”
The Financial Times reports that Zuckerberg's testimony to Congress echoes that call.
In prepared testimony, Meta's Zuckerberg called on lawmakers to instead require the Apple and Google app stores to verify the age of young users […]
“We are also in favor of setting industry standards for appropriate content age, and limiting signals for advertising to teens based on age and location rather than behavior,” Zuckerberg said, adding that the company is “willing to work with any member of this committee who wants to discuss legislation in those territories.”
The reading begins today at 10 a.m. ET and you can watch the livestream here.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash