Just about two weeks ago, The Atlantic published an article on children lying about their age to join Facebook. They found that in 2011, 20 million minors were using Facebook, 7.5 million of whom were under 13 years old -- a number that is likely to be much higher five years later. What is even more surprising is that the social network giants are not doing anything to stop this.
"To me, the greatest trick social-media and telecom companies ever pulled is trying to convince us that they can do nothing about cyberbullying... Many of the big-data “social analytics” outfits use algorithms to identify or estimate much more complicated things... How hard would it be to create an algorithm to identify antisocial behavior, bullying, or harassment online?"
Not that hard it turns out. Instagram is taking the first step toward internet harassment by rolling out a new feature that filters comments. Users can turn on "hide inappropriate content" button and specify custom words they don't want to see. You can find these options in Settings under Comments.
But is it enough? It doesn't take much to influence a young mind, with or without using inappropriate words.
Since social networks, that claim to bring people closer together, do not want to take the responsibility for exposing children to negative experiences, we encourage you to take the responsibility. With KoalaSafe you can block your child's devices from accessing social media channels or you can track how much they spend on apps like Instagram and Facebook with weekly usage report and start a conversation about their experience.
And speaking of Facebook, they recently launched a new iOS app for teens under 22. Lifestage lets students share visual profile with their school network to build a better community, requiring a mobile number to register. Because KoalaSafe can't differentiate it from Facebook, you can either allow both or neither.