Tech

Facebook Pauses Work on Instagram For Kids Ahead of This Week’s Senate Hearing

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Facebook has been working on an Instagram version for kids between 10 to 12 years, but those plans are on pause, and the company is saying it wants to consult with parents, experts, and policymakers. Children under the age of 13 are not allowed to create Instagram accounts, but of course, fooling the age background check procedure would not be that hard.


Facebook working on Instagram Kids as a means of protecting the pre-teen kids was not well received by lawmakers in the US, who think it is harmful. The decision to “pause” their progress is still not enough for these lawmakers who need the company to do away with the whole project.


“Facebook has completely forfeited the benefit of the doubt when it comes to protecting young people online and it must completely abandon this project.”


Just this month, documents obtained from the organisation’s internal research revealed that Instagram is harmful to teenagers who assess their value in comparison to other users on the platform. The Wallstreet Journal published a report that pointed fingers at Facebook, claiming they ignored their research on the toxicity of Instagram to teens.

In a blog post response, Facebook Vice President of research said it is not accurate to conclude that Instagram is toxic to teens.

“In addition to putting specific findings in context, it is also critical to make the nature of this research clear. This research, some of which relied on input from only 40 teens, was designed to inform internal conversations about teens’ most negative perceptions of Instagram.

The head at Instagram wrote that measures of tackling issues like body image have already been implemented, and users who constantly feed on this type of content should explore other topics on the social site or just take a break. Facebook was also quick to note that TikTok and YouTube have their version for kids, and it would provide age-appropriate content and features in their new app.

“Critics of ‘Instagram Kids’ will see this as an acknowledgement that the project is a bad idea. That’s not the case. The reality is that kids are already online, and we believe that developing age-appropriate experiences designed specifically for them is far better for parents than where we are today.” Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri.

Facebook announces plans for controversial project. Project faces intense scrutiny from policymakers. Facebook halts project temporarily.

The circle of life for FB products pic.twitter.com/pElH15kfer

— Cristiano Lima (@viaCristiano) September 27, 2021

We’re pausing “Smokin’ Joe Camel and His Smooth Flavors.” This was a tough decision. I still think posing Joe Camel in a backwards hat while driving a racecar enjoying the smooth, smooth flavor of a Camel cigarette was the right thing to do https://t.co/wZ30YPHEQ1

— David Grossman (@davidgross_man) September 27, 2021

Facebook is heeding our calls to stop plowing ahead with plans to launch a version of Instagram for kids. But a “pause” is insufficient. Facebook must completely abandon this project. https://t.co/CA6ikJHxOH

— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) September 27, 2021

I urged @facebook earlier this year to address my serious concern of social media’s negative impacts on children & young adults. It’s time Congress acts & pass my Safe Social Media Act, so we can understand the harmful risks of social media on our most vulnerable. https://t.co/WrTk806i1R

— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) September 27, 2021

So while it probably isn’t impossible to build an ‘IG Kids’ version that Tweens truly prefer, will be a very challenging endeavor. Gotta crack the finsta issue while not chilling 13+ finstas. Glad the IG team, which is the best in the biz, is taking the time to figure this out.

— Samidh (@samidh) September 27, 2021

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