Facebook vice president of global affairs Nick Clegg has promised that Instagram will introduce a “break” feature that will urge teens to stop using the social network for a while. Clegg didn’t say when it would be ready, but the feature is clearly designed to reduce addiction and other unhealthy behaviors.
The social media executive also said that Facebook will “alienate” teens from content in their apps that “may not be conducive to their well-being,” whatever that means. Clegg did not provide specifics for this new approach, but suggested that Facebook’s algorithms should be “kept in check”, including regulation if needed.
At the same time, this decision may not satisfy the critics of the social network. Forced breaks can reduce your exposure to harmful content, but they don’t completely eliminate it. Clegg’s claims also reflect Facebook’s familiar strategy. The social network likes to mention regulation often, but only the one that suits it. While the proposed changes might help, politicians may be asking for more – in part to keep Facebook from dictating its own rules.