Facebook is hitting the brakes on Instagram for kids

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“While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we have decided to put this project on hold,” Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, wrote in a statement. blog post Published Monday. “This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policy makers and regulators to voice their concerns and demonstrate the value and importance of this project to young teens online today.”
The move comes days before the US Senate is scheduled for a hearing titled “Protecting Kids Online: Facebook, Instagram and Mental Health Harms” to discuss the pressure youth face today on social media. that hearing The Wall Street Journal investigation comes after what Facebook knows about how Instagram affects teen users, including their mental health.
In a blog post on Monday, Mosseri acknowledged that the Journal’s reporting “raised a lot of questions for people.” In a statement earlier this month, an Instagram official said while Instagram could be a place where people have “negative experiences,” the app gives voice to even the marginalized and helps friends and family stay connected. does.

“This is a watershed for the growing tech accountability movement and a great day for anyone who believes that the well-being of children should precede the profits of Big Tech,” said Josh Golin, executive director of Fairplay, a child advocacy group. formerly known as a commercial campaign. -FreeChildhood said in a statement on Monday.

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“We use this ‘break’ from Facebook to connect with truly independent child development experts who understand how Instagram will undermine the well-being of young children,” Golin said. “We won’t stop putting pressure on Facebook until they remove the plug permanently.”

In March, BuzzFeed News obtained an internal Instagram memo saying that the company “recognized youth work as a priority” and was planning to create a version specifically for children.

In May, 44 attorneys general signed a letter addressed to Facebook (American Plan) CEO Mark Zuckerberg urged the cancellation of plans for Instagram for younger users, citing mental health and privacy concerns. The letter comes less than a month after child protection groups and members of Congress expressed similar concerns.
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In a July blog post, the company said it was trying to “reduce the incentive for people under the age of 13 to lie about their age” as part of an effort “managed by parents and guardians for tweens”. Developing a new Instagram experience”.

“The reality is that they’re already online, and there’s no foolproof way to stop people misrepresenting their age, we want to build experiences designed specifically for them, moms.” -Managed by fathers and guardians,” the post said.

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