Back in March, Facebook representative Joe Osborne revealed that the social media platform is planning to create a restricted version of Instagram specifically for children aged 13 and under, and now 44 attorneys general in the United States have come together to urge the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg not to go ahead with the project.
Penning a letter to Zuckerberg, the attorneys general provided a series of arguments against creating the new social media platform for kids, emphasizing research findings that show social media’s harmful influence on children not just physically but also psychologically while pointing out Facebook’s poor history of protecting their privacy and data. It also highlighted concerns related to cyber-bullying and potential predators.
“It appears that Facebook is not responding to a need, but instead creating one, as this platform appeals primarily to children who otherwise do not or would not have an Instagram account,” the end of the letter reads. “In short, an Instagram platform for young children is harmful for myriad reasons. The attorneys general urge Facebook to abandon its plans to launch this new platform.”
Despite the sentiment from the collection of attorneys general, Facebook defended its decision to create Instagram Kids on Monday. “As every parent knows, kids are already online. We want to improve this situation by delivering experiences that give parents visibility and control over what their kids are doing,” said a Facebook spokesperson in a statement. “We are developing these experiences in consultation with experts in child development, child safety and mental health, and privacy advocates.”
Elsewhere in the tech industry, Facebook is now urging users to read articles before sharing them.