As concerns about the harmful effects of social media on teens continue to grow, platforms from Snapchat to TikTok to Instagram are launching new features they say will make their services safer and more responsive. at the age. But the changes are rarely about the elephant in the room — the algorithms pushing endless content that can send anyone, not just teenagers, down harmful rabbit holes.
The tools offer some help, such as blocking strangers from messaging children. But they also share deeper flaws, starting with the fact that teenagers can circumvent boundaries if they lie about their age. Platforms also place the burden of enforcement on parents. And they do little or nothing to filter out inappropriate and harmful content served by algorithms that can affect teens’ mental and physical well-being.