Dozens of states ask Facebook to drop plans for kids Instagram product

Forty-four attorneys general do not think the proposed social media platform for kids will be safe.

What you need to know

  • Forty-four state attorneys generals do not want Instagram for Kids to happen.
  • In a letter, they say Facebook does not have a good history of protecting children.
  • Facebook is building a version of Instagram aimed at children under 13.

Forty-three state attorneys general have signed a letter to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him to „abandon plans to launch“ Instagram for kids under the age of 13. In March, Buzzfeed News reported that the company was planning to build a version of the popular photo-sharing service that would cater to children „with the safest possible experience.“

The coalition of attorneys general says that the proposed platform will be „detrimental to children for myriad reasons and that Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platform.“

New York Attorney General Letitia James, the leader of the coalition, says the platform poses a risk to children and puts them in „harm’s way.“

„Not only is social media an influential tool that can be detrimental to children who are not of appropriate age, but this plan could place children directly in the paths of predators,“ she said in a press release. „There are too many concerns to let Facebook move forward with this ill-conceived idea, which is why we are calling on the company to abandon its launch of Instagram kids. We must continue to ensure the health and wellness of our next generation and beyond.“

The coalition argues that young children are not equipped to some challenges, like privacy, that come with the use of a platform like Instagram.

They also say that there is a risk that predators could exploit children by being anonymous, and are also concerned with cyberbullying. They also indicate their distrust towards Facebook, adding that the company has a „record of failing to protect the safety and privacy of children.“

The coalition includes the attorney generals of Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

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