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Instagram Aims to Launch Chronological Feed Option in 2022: Adam Mosseri – Gadgets 360

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The head of Instagram said on Wednesday he aims to launch next year a version of the app with a chronological feed, rather than one ranked algorithmically, in his first appearance before Congress where he was grilled about children’s safety online.

Instagram’s Adam Mosseri was the latest tech executive pressed by lawmakers to provide more transparency into their platforms’ algorithms and the impact of the content they curate and recommend for users.

Instagram and its parent company Meta, formerly Facebook, have come under intense scrutiny over the potential impact of their services on the mental health, body image and safety of young users, including after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked internal documents about the company’s approach to younger users.

Speaking before a Senate panel, Mosseri said the photo-sharing app had been working “for months” on the option of a feed ordered chronologically and planned to launch it in early 2022, in a significant change for the service, which uses algorithmic ranking to personalise a feed based on user preferences.

At the hearing, lawmakers pushed Mosseri for specific answers on what legislative reforms he would support around kids’ online safety, including on targeted advertising. In his opening remarks, Senator Richard Blumenthal said the time for self-regulation was over.

In his testimony, Mosseri called for the creation of an industry body to determine best practices to help keep young people safe online. The body, he said, should receive input from civil society, parents, and regulators to create standards on how to verify age, design age-appropriate experiences, and build parental controls.

Mosseri said tech companies should have to adhere to standards by this proposed industry body to “earn” some of their Section 230 protections, referring to a key US Internet law which offers tech platforms protections from liability over content posted by users.

‘Too little, too late’

Instagram, since September, has suspended plans for a version of the app for kids, amid growing opposition to the project.

The pause followed a Wall Street Journal report that said internal documents, leaked by former Facebook employee Haugen, showed the company knew Instagram could have harmful mental health effects on teens.

Mosseri, speaking at the hearing, echoed the company’s previous statements that public reporting mischaracterised the internal research. He did not commit to making permanent the pause on a kids-focused version of Instagram.

He also touted product announcements Instagram made on Tuesday on young users’ safety, but Senator Marsha Blackburn called the updates “too little, too late,” while Senator Blumenthal referred to the changes, including Instagram’s pause on its kids app, as a “public relations tactic.”

In a call after the hearing, Blackburn said she would like to see Instagram offer “today” the option for a purely chronological news feed while Blumenthal said it could be a “significant step depending on the details.”

Senator Blackburn also said that her team created a fake Instagram account for a 15-year-old that defaulted to a public account, despite Instagram’s changes to make new accounts for users under 16 private by default. Mosseri said this loophole had been missed on the web version of the site and would be corrected.

Instagram, like other social media sites, has rules against children under 13 joining the platform but has said it knows it has users this age. In his testimony, Mosseri called for more age verification technology at a phone level, rather than by individual tech platforms, so users have an “age-appropriate experience.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus Nord 2 CE release dates posed a month apart from each other – Notebookcheck.net

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Apple requires employees to have proof of a COVID booster as Omicron spreads, according to reports – Euronews

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Apple will require retail and corporate employees to provide proof of a COVID-19 booster shot, The Verge reported on Saturday citing an internal email.

Starting January 24, unvaccinated employees or those who haven’t submitted proof of vaccination will need negative COVID-19 tests to enter Apple workplaces, the report said.

The Verge said it was not immediately clear if the testing requirement applies to both corporate and retail employees.

“Due to waning efficacy of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and the emergence of highly transmissible variants such as Omicron, a booster shot is now part of staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination to protect against severe disease,” the memo read, according to The Verge.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

Many companies in the US have been strengthening their COVID-19 rules, mandating vaccination and delaying back-to-office plans as the Omicron variant increases infections across the country.

This week, Facebook parent Meta Platforms mandated COVID-19 booster shots for all workers returning to offices. It also delayed U.S. office reopenings to March 28, from an earlier plan of January 31.

Alphabet Inc’s Google on Friday said it was temporarily mandating weekly COVID-19 tests for people entering its US offices.

A report by The Information said Amazon.com Inc has offered its US warehouse workers $40 (€35) to get a booster shot.

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The mid-2012 MacBook Pro 13-inch will soon become obsolete – Vaughan Today

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Apple will declare the mid-2012 13.3-inch MacBook Pro a “legacy” on January 31, according to an internal memo intercepted by Apple. Mac rumors. This is the last step before it becomes permanently outdated: it means that Apple will stop providing compatible parts to Apple Stores and Authorized Service Centers. It will always be possible to get a repair in the event of a breakdown, but within the limits of the available parts: this will therefore be increasingly difficult, up to the complete obsolescence that must be declared in a couple of years. You can refer to the list of old and outdated products on this page.

The mid 2012 13.3-inch MacBook Pro is the last model to feature an integrated CD/DVD drive. It was on sale until October 2016 to provide a more affordable alternative to models with Retina displays, which explains this late obsolescence. It is particularly reliable and offers interesting upgrade possibilities for people who want to replace the optical drive with a second volume. It is a standout model. Its time and about to give it up.

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