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Home News Consumer groups and child development experts petition Facebook to drop ‘Instagram for...

Consumer groups and child development experts petition Facebook to drop ‘Instagram for kids’ plan – TechCrunch

Document Analysis NLP IA

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redaction

Subjectivity0.28109679937549
probably it's an affirmation
Affirmation0.29779411764706

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Summary (IA Generated)

A coalition of 35 consumer advocacy groups along with 64 experts in child development have co-signed a letter to Facebook asking the company to reconsider its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13, which Facebook has confirmed to be in development.

In the letter, the groups and experts argue that social media is linked with several risk factors for younger children and adolescents, related to both their physical health and overall well-being.

The letter was written by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, an advocacy group that often leads campaigns against big tech and its targeting of children.

The group stresses how influential social media is on young people’s development, and the dangers such an app could bring:.

Citing public health research and other studies, the letter notes that excessive screen time and social media use can contribute to a variety of risks for kids including obesity, lower psychological well-being, decreased quality of sleep, increased risk of depression and suicide ideation, and other issues.

Another concern the groups have is the use of the Instagram algorithm which could suggest what kids would see and click on next, noting that children are “highly persuadable.

They also point out that Facebook knows there are already children under 13 who have lied about their age using the Instagram platform, and these users will be unlikely to migrate to what they’ll view as a more “babyish” version of the app than the one they’re already using.

That means Facebook is really targeting an even younger age group who don’t yet have an Instagram account with this “kids version.

Already, Instagram’s top competitor in social media todayTikTok — has developed an experience for kids under 13.

Facebook, too, could be in a similar situation where it has to age-gate Instagram in order to properly direct its existing underage users to a COPPA-compliant experience.

Zuckerberg confirmed Facebook’s plans for an Instagram for kids at a Congressional hearing back in March, saying that the company was “early in our thinking” about how the app would work, but noted it would involve some sort of parental oversight and involvement.

The downside to this plan, of course, is once you legitimize the creation of social apps for the under-13 demographic, companies are given the legal right to hook kids even younger on what are, arguably, risky experiences from a public health standpoint.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood also today launched a petition which others can sign to push Facebook to cancel its plans for an Instagram for kids.


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