Mark Zuckerberg can kiss ‘Hot Zuck Summer’ goodbye. Instagram is now in full crisis mode.

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  • Instagram Reels is linking some adults with inappropriate images of children, the WSJ reports.
  • Instagram is now dealing with a public scandal. Similar to the Facebook election meddling scandal.
  • Instagram is facing lawsuits from 33 states for ignoring warnings about the mental health of teenagers.

For a few weeks in July, an obscure phrase permeated the air; This was a bit of a pain for the people who typed: “Hot Zouk Summer”.

That was a photo. Mark Zuckerberg shirtless And it was spectacularly torn. Successful launch Threads. Where the whole shameful business Elon Musk challenged Zuckerberg to physical combat.

Compared to Musk is busy deleting both Twitter And his name, Metta’s CEO, sounds like a logical genius and a measured executive.

Things were finally looking interesting for the short winter. Zuckerberg And meta: the distance of the 2016 election and the turmoil that came from it was far in the rearview mirror. In the year In 2021, the explosive revelations from Frances Haugen and the “Facebook Papers“They weren’t at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Twitter, FTX and AI dominated the headlines.”

It was almost as if Meta was having a moment to add a few numbers to the big “days without a major scandal” sign.

Today that counter is now set to “0”. And while “Hot Zuckerberg Summer” may be light-hearted against Zuckerberg, the latest scandal is anything but.

Monday Wall Street Journal Through Instagram’s Reels, it reports the disturbing way in which child sexual content is presented to adults.

In the WSJ Challenge, he created new accounts followed by teenagers and two gymnasts and cheerleading influencers. Those tags are recommended for adult sexual content and reels for sexually explicit children’s content, the Journal reported. The Canadian Center for Child Protection conducted a similar experiment with similar results, the Journal reported.

From the WSJ:

The Instagram platform provided a wealth of content for those test accounts, including child rescue footage as well as pornographic adult videos — and ads for some of America’s biggest brands.
The Journal compiled the test accounts after noticing that the thousands of followers of such youth accounts often include many adult males, and that most of the accounts that followed those children showed an interest in child- and adult-related sexual content. .

Shockingly, sexually suggestive content has also appeared among the advertisements of major companies.

From the report:

The tests showed that following only young girls, Instagram began serving videos from accounts promoting adult sexual content alongside ads for major consumer brands, such as a video of a woman baring her neck for Walmart.

And perhaps most disappointing of all;

Advertisement for Lean In Girls, a non-profit empowering young women led by a former Meta Chief Operating Officer. Sheryl Sandberg, ran directly before the promo for the adult porn creator, often seen in schoolgirl clothes. Sandberg declined to comment.

A Meta spokesperson told the WSJ that the company recently rolled out new brand-safety tools and has a task force to identify suspicious users. Sandberg declined to comment to the Journal, as did Walmart.

In a statement to Business Insider, Meta said: “We don’t want this kind of content on our platforms, and we don’t want brands to have their ads appear alongside it.” We’ll continue to invest heavily in stopping it — and report back every quarter. On the distribution of such content, which is very low. He also said the WSJ’s test was a “manufactured experience” that doesn’t represent what real users see every day.

Earlier this fall, 33 states sued meth for ignoring warnings about possible harm to young girls. Meta also claims to know millions Accounts opened by children under 13 years of agebut then it doesn’t close.

A The Massachusetts suit asserts a meta claim. It has neglected efforts to improve the safety of minors on its apps.

And the recent unsealed complaint, which is one of the 33 regions, seems to show this Instagram administrators were well aware of a phenomenon. It’s pretty familiar to anyone who’s used Instagram: If you see all your friends living their best lives and tons of pictures of hot people, it makes you feel bad.

(Meta spokeswoman Lisa Crenshaw told BA that the complaint “undermines our work by using cherry-picked quotes and cherry-picked documents from their parents.”)

From the complaint, emphasis mine:

Metta’s top management acknowledged that social comparison is a critical issue with serious consequences for its users, especially Instagram. [Adam] Moseri wrote in an internal email: “I see social comparison as an existential question facing Instagram in the larger question of whether or not social media is good for people.” Instagram for its “youth-focused and visual communication,” emphasizing beauty and fashion content, and because “the look and feel of marketing is often biased and highly polished.” “The social comparison is to Instagram,” Mosseri said. [what] Election interference is for Facebook.”

I think Mosseri was there. This is it. The question of existence that is currently being debated about Instagram.

(Moseri’s interpretation of the election meddling line isn’t entirely clear to me. Many Meta staff believe the 2016 election meddling narrative is overblown. Perhaps what he means is that this will be the time for Instagram to have a major scandal. (He gets yelled at, people unsubscribe, and someone drags him in front of Congress about it.)

Either way – Moseri is right. This is a huge public scandal. Enough shoes have dropped. Big advertisers like Match and Bumble are canceling ads in response to the WSJ report, the publication said.

“Hot Zoo Summer” has turned into “Instagram Nightmare Fall”.

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