Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: FB) has announced delaying its Facebook Messenger Upgrade. The company owns Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. The latter automatically encrypts all messenger. In 2019, Meta announced that it would also encrypt Messenger to allow more privacy.

Meta initially changed the date of the launch to early 2022. However, they have pushed it back further to 2023. Experts claim that this could be due to concerns about potential child exploitation.

Meta’s platforms could support child sexual exploitation 

According to the National Police Chief Council (NSPCC), WhatsApp accounts for 10% of child sexual offenses that people commit on platforms owned by Meta. However, due to encryption, officials have only managed to find 2% that comes from the app.

Meta claims that it is concerned with its users’ safety and privacy. Despite this, there are few ways to balance them. Experts have accused the company of running a platform supporting terrorists and child abusers.

Meta fails to curb misinformation on its platforms 

Concerns about safety on Meta platforms are not new. Since Frances Haugen leaked its internal documents, many have questioned its precautions to ensure safety. Experts also refer to an incident in September 2020 when Meta failed to prevent misinformation from spreading on Facebook.

During that period, videos of a suspected UFO in New Jersey circulated the platform. Many people, including DJ Ashba, the guitarist for Guns N’ Roses, shared these videos.

The news of the UFO spread between September 14 and 16. Posts related to the incident received more than 50 million views. The most visited news outlet was UFO Sightings Daily, a site for alien enthusiasts.

It was after a few days when Meta managed to prevent the spread of blatant misinformation. They confirmed that the UFO was a blimp filming the Giant-Steelers match. Although the company contained the news, critics say that it took them too long, pointing to an issue with preventing misleading information.

Meanwhile, the Competition and Markets Authority has reversed Meta’s acquisition of Giphy. Meta acquired the company in May 2020, intending to integrate it with Instagram. The purchase cost them $400 million.