Thursday, October 21, 2021

Facebook halts plans for Instagram for kids

Facebook has halted its plans to make Instagram for children under the age of 13, following backlash from the efforts of dozens of attorneys general.

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said in a blog post Monday that the company still believes creating versions for children is “the right thing to do” but it is “stopping work” to consult with parents, experts and policymakers. “.

“This break will give us time to work with parents, experts, policy makers and regulators, listen to their concerns, and demonstrate the value and importance of this project to young teens online today,” Mosseri said.

Facebook owns Instagram.

Some 44 attorney generals from both major parties urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier this year to scrap Instagram’s plans for children, noting that studies have shown that social media use is linked to the health of youth. and can be harmful to well-being.

“Young children are not equipped to handle the range of challenges that come with having an Instagram account. Children do not have a developed sense of privacy. In particular, they may not fully appreciate what content is appropriate for them to share with others, the permanence of the content they post on an online platform, and their Who has access to the content shared online by The coalition wrote in a letter to Zuckerberg that they are too young to navigate the complexities of coping with inappropriate content and online relationships where other users, including predators, can hide their identities using the anonymity of the Internet.

Officials also pointed out how in the past Facebook has failed to deliver on its promises of protecting users’ privacy.

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Mosseri said kids are already online, highlighting how YouTube and TikTok already have versions of their apps for kids under 13, and added that company executives are still on the lookout for this. support the project.

The children’s version will be for people ages 10 to 12 only, will require parental permission to join, will not contain ads, and will contain “age-appropriate content and features.”

“I have three kids and their safety is the most important thing in my life. I hear the concerns with this project, and we are announcing these steps today so that we can fix it,” he concluded.

The pause comes several days before Facebook director Antigone Davis is set to appear before Congress to answer questions at a hearing titled “Defense of Children Online: Facebook, Instagram and the Mental Health Harm.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said last week he plans to question Davis about the impact of Facebook and Instagram on youth.

Blumenthal and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Ten.) are investigating Facebook after the Wall Street Journal reported, citing internal documents, that the company kept secret findings that Instagram users, especially teen girls, have mental health problems. and suffer from the body. image issues.

GQ Pan contributed to this report.

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Zachary Steber covers US news including politics and court cases. He started out as a New York City subway reporter at The Epoch Times.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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