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Instagram Recommends Sexual Videos to Accounts for 13-Year-Olds

Wall Street Journal Reports:

Instagram regularly recommends sexual videos to accounts for teenagers that appear interested in racy content, and does so within minutes of when they first log in, according to tests by The Wall Street Journal and an academic researcher.

The tests, run over seven months ending in June, show that the social-media service has continued pushing adult-oriented content to minors after parent Meta Platforms META 0.42%increase; green up pointing triangle said in January that it was giving teens a more age-appropriate experience by restricting what it calls sensitive content including sexually suggestive material.

Separate testing by the Journal and Laura Edelson, a computer-science professor at Northeastern University, used similar methodology, involving setting up new accounts with ages listed as 13. The accounts then watched Instagram's curated video stream, known as Reels.

Instagram served a mix of videos that, from the start, included moderately racy content such as women dancing seductively or posing in positions that emphasized their breasts. When the accounts skipped past other clips but watched those racy videos to completion, Reels recommended edgier content. ...............

...............The most effective way to prevent inappropriate content from being served to underage users would be to build an entirely separate recommendation system for teens, the document suggested. Meta hasn't pursued that proposal.