Donald Trump Jr. recently took to his Twitter account and posted the following:
Is anyone in congress going to get serious about hauling in Zuck and his minions for this sicko kiddie stuff? This is reaching Epstein levels of disgusting.https://t.co/bdu1gNLihe pic.twitter.com/ySJrB6P1Ma
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 27, 2023
Instagram’s Reels video service is designed to show users streams of short videos on topics the system decides will interest them, such as sports, fashion or humor. The Meta Platforms-owned social app does the same thing for users its algorithm decides might have a prurient interest in children, testing by The Wall Street Journal showed.
The Journal sought to determine what Instagram’s Reels algorithm would recommend to test accounts set up to follow only young gymnasts, cheerleaders and other teen and preteen influencers active on the platform.
Instagram’s system served jarring doses of salacious content to those test accounts, including risqué footage of children as well as overtly sexual adult videos—and ads for some of the biggest U.S. brands.
The Journal set up the test accounts after observing that the thousands of followers of such young people’s accounts often include large numbers of adult men, and that many of the accounts who followed those children also had demonstrated interest in sex content related to both children and adults. The Journal also tested what the algorithm would recommend after its accounts followed some of those users as well, which produced more-disturbing content interspersed with ads.
In a stream of videos recommended by Instagram, an ad for the dating app Bumble appeared between a video of someone stroking the face of a life-size latex doll and a video of a young girl with a digitally obscured face lifting up her shirt to expose her midriff. In another, a Pizza Hut commercial followed a video of a man lying on a bed with his arm around what the caption said was a 10-year-old girl.