Why 2022 Will be a Tough Year for Facebook and Other Social Apps
Shari Lynn Kramer / 04 Jan 2022
A lot has been going on the past couple of years putting a lot of strain on the companies that own major social media platforms. And it’s not surprising since nowadays it’s the most popular method of communication among people.
Donald Trump was banned on all social media for instigating an attack on the U.S. Capitol. Harmful vaccine disinformation spread like wildfire making many people doubt their efficacy. Facebook decided to rebrand into “Metaverse” to divert everyone’s attention from revelations shared by whistleblower Frances Haugen.
As a result, a lot of bills were introduced that targeted tech giants, making it possible to hold them accountable for the spread of health misinformation and finally updating the children’s privacy law that was passed over two decades ago. However, will any of those bills see the light of day and become law in 2022? That remains to be seen.
Unlike the US, the European Union is more than happy to introduce strict laws that prevent tech giants, such as Amazon, from giving unfair advantage for their own products and services. These companies will be obliged to rigorously fight and delete harmful content, such as terrorism and child sex abuse, and will be forced to provide users with more control over the use of their data for targeted ads.
The tech giants aren’t too happy with all the restrictions and are actively pushing back. For example, due to the leaked research by Frances Haugen, Instagram was forced to put on hold its plans to create a version of its app that would cater to kids under the age of 13. According to this research, Instagram has a great negative impact on the mental health of teen girls. However, despite being under pressure from Congress, the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri has stated that they still wish to pursue this project in the future.
Should social media apps be held more accountable? Or are those restrictions a slippery slope that may impede people’s freedom of speech? Tell us in the comments.