An Instagram for Kids is currently in plans, as mentioned by a report earlier this year, to cater to children’s specific needs. Although Facebook is still in the development stages, the US attorney coalition has writer a letter to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to abandon the plan. The attorneys believe that this platform will exploit vulnerable people once it goes out. Also Read - Instagram testing a feature that will alert users of service outage
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has sent a letter to Zuckerberg, condemning the idea of such a plan. “Facebook has repeatedly failed to protect the health and wellbeing of children on its platforms. “Instagram for Kids” is a shameful attempt to exploit and profit off vulnerable people. I’m leading a letter to Mark Zuckerberg with 44 AGs to demand they abandon this plan,” she writes on Twitter. Also Read - Instagram plans to roll out new tools to 'nudge' teens away from bad content
Instagram for Kids a bad idea, say US attorneys
“It’s shameful that Facebook is ignoring the very real threat that social media poses to the safety and well-being of young children in an attempt to profit off of a vulnerable segment of our population,” said Healey. “I’m joining my colleagues across the country who are heavily invested in protecting our youngest residents from harm, sexual predators, and cyberbullying to call on Facebook to abandon this reckless plan to exploit children.” Also Read - Facebook and Instagram were down for few hours last night, second time in a week
“Facebook faces a critical choice: will they plow ahead with their ill-conceived plan to ensnare young children, or will they listen to the growing chorus of parents, experts, advocates, lawmakers and regulators who are telling them that an Instagram kids’ site will undermine young children’s healthy development and right to privacy?,” said Josh Golin, Executive Director, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
The letter which they sent mentions several concerns regarding harmful effects on the metal, physical and emotional well-being of children. The issue of cyberbullying and predators on the platform targeting children have also been referred to in the letter.
On the other hand, Zuckerberg has maintained the idea of social media not being harmful to children, despite data and suggesting otherwise. Records in the past have frequently put Facebook under the limelight for failing to protect young users on the platform.
Facebook is yet to come out with a formal statement for the same. The company is doubling down on its Instagram business with a Lite app and embedding Reels in the app. Reels was introduced last year to take on the market that TikTok once dominated in India.