Regulation does not replace morality in social media


Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel attends a morning session at the Allen & Company Sun Valley conference on July 7, 2021 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said on Tuesday that regulation does not replace the moral responsibility of social media companies for content shared on their services.

“The important point to emphasize is that regulation does not replace moral responsibility and business practices that support the health and well-being of your community,” Spiegel said, speaking at the Wall Street live conference. Newspaper.

Spiegel’s comments appeared to be a shot at rival Facebook, which was the subject of controversy last month after a former employee leaked numerous internal documents. Among those files were slides showing Facebook was aware that its Instagram service was harmful to teen mental health, according to the wall street journal.

In his responses to the documents, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Oct. 5 called on Congress to update internet regulations. In particular, Zuckerberg said Congress should determine at what age adolescents should be allowed to use Internet services, how tech companies should verify the ages of users, and how companies should balance children’s privacy while giving children parents visibility into their children’s online activity.

But the regulations are coming far too late, Spiegel said on Tuesday.

“Regulation may certainly be needed in some of these areas,” Spiegel said. “Other countries have made progress in this regard. But again, unless companies proactively promote the health and well-being of their communities, regulators will always catch up.”

No Snap Kids in preparation

In response to the leaked documents and the public backlash, Facebook said last month that IThis would put on hold the development of a version of Instagram designed for children 13 and under.

When asked if Snap intends to develop something similar, Spiegel said no, but he said the company is building a family center for parents and their children.

“We basically have a family center so that young people and their parents can use Snapchat together, so that parents have more visibility on who their friends are. [that they are] talking on Snapchat, their privacy settings and things like that, “Spiegel said.” It at least helps start a conversation between young people and their parents about what they are going through on our service. “

When asked why Snap hasn’t experienced the same type of adolescent mental health issues as Facebook and Instagram, Spiegel said Snapchat is fundamentally different. When a user launches Snapchat on their phone, the app opens to a camera rather than a stream of content from other users.

“Rather than opening yourself up to a flow where you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people and whether or not they have likes or comments and things like that, you open yourself up to your own experience and are invited to speak up. , to share and connect with your friends and family, ”said Spiegel.


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