Facebook scuttles plan to develop ‘Instagram Kids’

Even without Instagram Kids, the company says it will continue to prioritize teen safety and parental monitoring features.

NEW DELHI: Facebook, which has been slammed by legislators and people for its intention to create an Instagram for minors, stated on Monday that it will put the project on hold.

According to a statement from the company, Facebook said it feels that developing ‘Instagram Kids’ is the correct thing to do; however, Instagram and its parent company Facebook will revisit the initiative at a later time.

In the meantime, Instagram will continue to prioritize teen safety and parental monitoring features, the social media giant said.

Instagram’s CEO, Adam Mosseri, stated that Instagram Kids was designed for kids aged 10 to 12.

Wall Street Journal’s explosive investigation forces the halt

The delay comes after an explosive Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that Facebook’s Instagram platform has consistently been shown to be detrimental to many teens. The Journal referenced Facebook research over the last three years that looked at how Instagram impacts its young user base, particularly adolescent girls.

According to a Facebook internal presentation, 13 per cent of British users and 6% of American users who expressed suicidal thoughts blamed the problem on Instagram.

Lawmakers seek answers from the social media company

The revelation prompted legislators to revisit their reservations about the social networking app.

Representatives from both sides of the aisle sought answers from Facebook shortly after the news surfaced. Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Massachusetts, also urged Facebook to drop its Instagram for Kids initiative.

On Monday, Trahan and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., reacted to Facebook’s move by saying the company should abandon its plan completely.

On September 30, Antigone Davis, the global head of safety at Facebook, will appear before the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection.

Facebook justifies its ‘Instagram Kids’ plan

Facebook has justified its efforts to attract more children to the app on several occasions. In a blog post published early Monday, Mosseri claimed that children are already online.

Mosseri added that the latest move by Facebook will be seen by critics of ‘Instagram Kids’ as an admission that the initiative is a terrible idea; however, that isn’t the case at all.

The truth, as per the CEO, is that children are already online, and Facebook feels that creating age-appropriate experiences tailored to their needs is significantly superior to where children use the services presently.

Instagram’s CEO assures slew of new parental controls

Instagram will take a break from its operations to talk to parents, professionals, legislators, and authorities about their concerns and try to make its parental controls available to adolescent accounts, he further stated.

These new features, which parents and adolescents may choose to use, Mosseri said, will provide parents with the tools to significantly impact their teen’s experience.

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