Mark Zuckerberg is urged to scrap plans for an Instagram for children.


An worldwide coalition of 35 kids’s and shopper teams referred to as on Instagram on Thursday to scrap its plans to develop a model of the favored photo-sharing app for customers beneath age 13.

Instagram’s push for a separate kids’s app comes after years of complaints from legislators and oldsters that the platform has been sluggish to establish underage customers and protect them from sexual predators and bullying.

But in a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, the chief govt of Facebook — the corporate that owns the photo-sharing service — the nonprofit teams warned {that a} kids’s model of Instagram wouldn’t mitigate such issues. While 10- to 12-year-olds with Instagram accounts could be unlikely to change to a “babyish version” of the app, the teams stated, it may hook even youthful customers on countless routines of photo-scrolling and body-image disgrace.

“While collecting valuable family data and cultivating a new generation of Instagram users may be good for Facebook’s bottom line,” the teams, led by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood in Boston, stated in the letter to Mr. Zuckerberg, “it will likely increase the use of Instagram by young children who are particularly vulnerable to the platform’s manipulative and exploitative features.”

The coalition of nonprofit teams additionally contains the Africa Digital Rights’ Hub in Ghana; the Australian Council on Children and the Media; the Center for Digital Democracy in Washington; Common Sense Media in San Francisco; the Consumer Federation of America; and the 5Rights Foundation in Britain.

Stephanie Otway, a Facebook spokeswoman, stated that Instagram was within the early levels of growing a service for kids as a part of an effort to hold these beneath 13 off its major platform. Although Instagram requires customers to be at the very least 13, many youthful kids have lied about their age to arrange accounts.

Ms. Otway stated that firm wouldn’t present adverts in any Instagram product developed for kids youthful than 13, and that it deliberate to seek the advice of with specialists on kids’s well being and security on the mission. Instagram is additionally engaged on new age-verification strategies to catch youthful customers attempting to lie about their age, she stated.

“The reality is that kids are online,” Ms. Otway stated. “They want to connect with their family and friends, have fun and learn, and we want to help them do that in a way that is safe and age-appropriate.”



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