Facebook’s controversial “Instagram for kids” got under the spotlight again. The company’s own internal report has shown that Instagram has been causing mental-health problems in teenagers, especially girls, including even suicidal thoughts. After the report has leaked, Democratic lawmakers have started calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg again to drop the project.
Instagram has announced some changes in the app with the aim of protecting teens. From now on, users under 16 (or 18 in some countries) will have their accounts set to private by default. Messaging between kids and adults will be limited as well, and so will the ads teens can see on the platform.
Instagram has introduced new features aimed particularly at the youngest members of the community. While kids under 13 will still be able to lie about their age easily, Instagram is trying to keep the potential predators away from them.
I’ve heard so many times that teenagers today do nothing but staring at their phones or playing video games. Well, that’s not exactly true. There are some talented folks out there, taking stunning photos at a very early age. Jessica Kobeissi teamed up with one such kid in her latest video. She and 14-year-old photographer Hudson Matter came together for a shootout in the streets of New York City. So, let’s see how they did and who shot it better.
With its latest AI-powered feature, Instagram is continuing its fight against the abuse on the platform. From now on, if you try to post an image with an offensive or bullying caption, Instagram will warn you and ask you to reconsider it.
Carlsbad photographer Robert Koester has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexual misconduct. He was accused of sexually assaulting and raping teen models he was paid to photograph, and the evidence suggests that some of them were even drugged and unconscious during the abuse.
When you take a selfie, when is it ready to be posted on social media? How much editing does it need before you share it with your followers? British photographer John Rankin Waddell, aka Rankin, explored this in his project Selfie Harm, and he ended up with alarming results.
Rankin photographed fifteen teenagers with barely any makeup and gave the portraits a simple, natural aesthetic. Then he asked boys and girls to edit their own photos until they felt they were social-media ready. The resulting photos were scary and worrying, showing just how dangerous image altering can be for young people’s mental health and self-image.
A 16-year-old girl in Malaysia took her own life on Tuesday after conducting an Instagram poll to decide whether she should live or die. Reportedly, 69% of people had voted for “die,” which reportedly prompted the teen to end her life.
I must admit I rarely meet teenagers interested in something other than video games and social networks. But, from time to time, I hear about kids who amaze me. Young photographer Josiah Launstein is one of them. He is only 13 years old, and he’s been into photography since he was five. He grew to become a passionate wildlife photographer, and he even started getting awards for his talent and skill.