Monday 15 October 2018

Tech giant's 'digital wellbeing' tools fall short

Users of Facebook and Instagram will be able to create pop-up alerts to limit their time on the apps, block push notifications for fixed periods and get updates on the time they spend on the social networks each day. Stock photo: REUTERS
Users of Facebook and Instagram will be able to create pop-up alerts to limit their time on the apps, block push notifications for fixed periods and get updates on the time they spend on the social networks each day. Stock photo: REUTERS
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Facebook has attempted to counter a growing public and political backlash by introducing "digital wellbeing" tools that enable users to spend less time on its apps.

Users of Facebook and Instagram will be able to create pop-up alerts to limit their time on the apps, block push notifications for fixed periods and get updates on the time they spend on the social networks each day.

The changes, announced yesterday and to be introduced over coming weeks, come amid growing concern at the potential damage excessive use of social media is having on the mental and emotional health of children.

Campaigners, however, said the moves did not address online harm like bullying or inappropriate content and failed to provide a default mode that would require people to opt out of time limits or blocking notifications.

The feature displays a daily average over the past seven days, and each of those seven days' usage.

However, the new tool does not show the time users have spent on Facebook across different devices, for example, if users access Facebook on both a phone and tablet.

Irish Independent

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