Sun. Oct 17th, 2021
Winners and losers of the week: sustainability scores points and Facebook needs to explain itself


This week, the winners title goes to the new Fairphone 4, which offers a 5-year warranty and system upgrade to Android 15. On the losers side is Facebook and the controversy that has been dragging on for weeks about the company’s lack of youth protection on social networks.
For the highlights of the past few days, I’ll start with the debut of NextPit’s new design, because you may have noticed the change by now, right? We’re really happy with the feedback from our community and we are certain that this is just the beginning of a series of changes that will happen in the coming months.

Below, you can check out five highlights from NextPit‘s coverage over the past few days:

That said, it’s time to talk about our picks for this week’s winners and losers!

Winner of the week: Fairphone

The Fairphone 4 is among us. And with this launch also emerges the discussion about sustainability in the mobile industry. We had the chance to briefly test the phone and, as my colleague Benjamin Lucks rightly pointed out, “the innovations at Fairphone are not called ‘Super Retina XDR with ProMotion’, but fair working conditions, sustainable materials and modularity”.

We often highlight the announcement of super powerful or highly anticipated smartphones, as was the case with devices like the iPhone 13 and Galaxy Z Fold 3, recently reviewed here on the channel. So, nothing more fair than to recognise the effort of Fairphone to try to break the chains of planned obsolescence and put on the market a smartphone with 5 years of warranty and more sustainable hardware upgrade options.

The Fairphone 4 may not be the flagship of 2021, but it already does a great service by bringing up relevant questions about the production chain of an industry that produces about 86 pounds of invisible waste per cell phone manufactured. Beyond that, it also makes us question our consumer behavior and the impact we make on the world by changing smartphones every two years on average.

Loser of the week: Facebook

The Fairphone 4 may fuels us with hope, but the same cannot be said for the company that is on the losers side this week. The controversy involving the safety of young people on Facebook and Instagram drags on for another week. Yes, Facebook has left the project of an Instagram for children on stand by, but that does not mean that young people around the world are protected, on the contrary.

On Thursday (30), a hearing was convened in the United States Senate to debate the toxic effects of Facebook and Instagram among teens as young as 13 years old. This was a direct consequence of a WSJ investigation (The Facebook Files) that exposed that Facebook is aware that Instagram is a toxic environment for young people.

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Are you what you post? © Nadir Keklik / Shutterstock.com

Among the revelations made by the WSJ, a 2019 Facebook survey was exposed, in which the company claims to have worsened “problems with self-image for one in three teenage girls.” According to the paper, that internal research also identified the social network’s impact on increasing anxiety and depression conditions.

Honestly, so far, none of this is news. However, what really worries is the argument used by the company that owns the largest social network in the world to invest in applications designed for children. For Facebook, minors receive mobile phones earlier and earlier and this puts them at risk, increasing the need for apps designed for them.

But wait, if an internal survey revealed that Facebook was the cause of teens self-image problems, maybe the solution isn’t in expanding kids’ access to social networks, right? We’re still a long way from reaching the end of this story, but here’s a reminder to keep up with it chapter by chapter.

And that concludes this Sunday’s column! So, what did you think of this week’s choices? Share your opinion in the comments of this article.



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