Facebook is, once again, in trouble. This time, the Meta-owned social media company has been targeted by lawmakers for being dangerous for children. But is Facebook dangerous for kids, and in what ways is it?
Reported by TechXplore, lawmakers are criticising the social media giant for the way it pushes products to children. Additionally, the way in which the platform fails to curate product adverts makes Facebook dangerous to young users.
Is Facebook dangerous for children?
In a new investigation, federal regulators have found that Facebook Marketplace is particularly unsafe for young users. As the company’s eBay-esque storefront allows anyone to sell anything with little moderation, anyone is able to reach out and offer to meet up in order to buy an item.
Members of Congress noted that the social media platform allows the unrestricted sale of dangerous products. This includes products that have been recalled after being responsible for the deaths of multiple children.
It’s noted that these products are not listed as dangerous on their Facebook Marketplace pages with their full product names. Additionally, the social media platform does nothing to warn users of the products’ issues. They're just available to buy, despite the platform banning the sale of recalled products.
Congressional members note that Facebook has the technology to moderate the marketplace and protect children. Lawmakers claim that image recognition tools should be in place to look for any recalled products and ban them from sale.
Read More: A hotel will open in space in 2027
What was the danger?
Some of the products sold on Marketplace led members of Congress mark Facebook dangerous for children. Their investigation showed that 14 different recalled products — that resulted in the deaths of 121 children minimum — were actively being sold on the platform.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. explained that Facebook “can’t be trusted.” They said: “They'll make statements that they'll do better. Then they don't abide by it. And the consequence is the loss of life."
The investigation notes that Facebook allowed the sale of a “Bumbo baby seat”, a recalled product. This sale is do the fall of a 5-month-old child who smashed her head on a laminate flooring. The recalled product has resulted in the injury of 112 kids, leaving 24 with skull fractures.
This isn't even Facebook’s only issue with child safety. For starters, the social media platform still has issues with moderation. Additionally, its metaverse VR platform has been criticised for allowing children to engage in virtual explicit activities. This comes after CSA experts warned the company that its metaverse would quickly become a hunting ground for child predators.
Despite years upon years of social media, Facebook is still struggling to create safe environments for its users. But at this point, it seems like it doesn't even care.