Facebook faces backlash on plans to launch a version of Instagram for children.


On Monday, 44 attorney’s general signed a letter addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to scrap plans for an Instagram intended for younger users, citing mental health and privacy concerns.

“Use of social media can be detrimental to the health and well-being of children, who are not equipped to navigate the challenges of having a social media account,” the latest letter said.

“Further, Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms. The attorney’s general have an interest in protecting our youngest citizens, and Facebook’s plans to create a platform where kids under the age of 13 are encouraged to share content online is contrary to that interest.”

In March, Buzzfeed News obtained an internal Instagram memo stating the company has “identified youth work as a priority for Instagram” and was moving forward with plans to build a version specifically intended for kids. It came two days after a blog post from the company, titled “Continuing to Make Instagram Safer for the Youngest Members of Our Community,” which said it needed to do more to combat abuse, bullying and other issues that occur on the platform.

Facebook claims such a service would give parents greater control over their children’s online activity. The company added the platform is still “early in our thinking” and “there is clearly a large number of people under the age of 13 who would want to use a service like Instagram.”

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