Protecting Teens Online: Can AI Bridge the Privacy Gap?

Social media platforms need to strike a balance between protecting teen users' privacy and safety when implementing measures to block harmful content. AI and metadata analysis could help detect risks without invading personal conversations.


  • The CEOs of major social media platforms recently testified before Congress about protecting minors online after facing pressure over failures to curb risks.
  • Research shows teens face dangers like harassment and exploitation but also find peer support, often in private messages.
  • Platforms have struggled to detect risks while also protecting user privacy and autonomy, especially with end-to-end encryption.
  • Studies found AI can identify unsafe conversations in metadata like length and response times without scanning content.
  • Platforms could use AI on metadata to block harmful users while still allowing teens privacy in personal conversations.
  • Giving users control over privacy versus safety settings would also help strike the right balance.


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