Monday, May 3, 2021
An international coalition of public health and child safety advocates urged Facebook executives...to abandon plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under age 13 because its members feared it would put young users at "great risk."
The coalition of 35 organizations and 64 individual experts, coordinated by the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, a Boston-based nonprofit, raised concerns about privacy, screen time, mental health, self-esteem and commercial pressure in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
"Instagram, in particular, exploits young people's fear of missing out and desire for peer approval to encourage children and teens to constantly check their devices and share photos with their followers," the letter says. "The platform's relentless focus on appearance, self-presentation, and branding presents challenges to adolescents' privacy and wellbeing."
It adds, "Younger children are even less developmentally equipped to deal with these challenges, as they are learning to navigate social interactions, friendships, and their inner sense of strengths and challenges during this crucial window of development."
BuzzFeed reported last month that Facebook was building a version of Instagram for children under 13.
Read more here.