Facebook under Pressure to Suspend Rollout of Instagram for Kids, Faces Criticism

Facebook-owned Instagram may suspend its plans to roll out the Instagram Kids platform. In a statement from Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, the social media platform has been facing criticism from several lawmakers, parents and critics from the time it announced plans for the debut of the Instagram for teens (children under 13).

In a statement released by the social media company, Instagram and Facebook are looking to re-evaluate “Instagram Kids” and release it at a later date. The company does believe that building the kid’s platform seemed a “right thing to do.” Facebook and Instagram stated that they would use this pause to focus on teen safety measures and the expansion of parental features for teenagers.

Earlier this month, Wall Street Journal reportedly stated that an in-depth research had been conducted by Facebook to analyze the effect the platform would have on teens. Results of the research indicated that there could be a toxic effect on the teenage population and such an effect could disturb them mentally. Facebook’s three-year study revealed that teenage girls could be the most affected due using the Instagram platform.

These findings set the lawmakers’ minds rolling with questions on Facebook’s development of the kids’ platform. The Democrat from Massachusetts, Representative Lori Trahan, requested the media company to discontinue the development of Instagram for kids. Trahan and the Democrat from Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, have advised the media giant to completely shut down its operations for the kids’ site.

Despite the Journal’s rollout of the report, Facebook has continued to advocate its efforts to push the numbers of children using the app. Mosseri is of the opinion that children are already using online platforms and that are working towards “developing age appropriate experiences that were designed specifically for them was far better for parents.”

He also revealed that the company was working with parents, policy makers, experts, and regulators and the platform would feature new safety measures. These measure would allow parental monitoring, thus vesting some control on what teens can experience on the social media platform.

Antigone Davis, Facebook’s head of global safety, will appear before the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection. He will provide answers to all queries related to “Instagram for Kids” and to the report released by the Wall Street Journal.

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