news & Things

Facebook Back Tracks On Instagram Plans For Kids

news & Things
wooden toy

15th Nov 2021

Facebook halts its plans for an ‘Instagram for Kids’ – aimed at ages 10 to 12 – after being accused of ignoring its own research into the harm to children’s wellbeing caused by Instagram.

 

An article reported by the Wall Street Journal accuses Facebook of ignoring and covering up evidence of the harm caused to teenagers, particularly girls, by Instagram. Further on in the article, it reports that an internal Facebook presentation noted that among teenage social media users who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the issue back to Instagram.

Another presentation from 2019 said, “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” while a later slide deck added: “Thirty-two per cent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse”.

Facebook has spoken out against the allegations, stating the article deliberately mischaracterises them, and “conferred egregiously false motives to Facebook’s leadership and employees.”

The article increased the scrutiny on the dark side of social media at a time when Facebook is facing criticism from many angles.

It even caught the attention of US politicians who outright called for the company to abandon Instagram for Kids.

Bowing to pressure, on Monday Facebook said in a statement that it would ‘re-evaluate’ the project:

While we believe building ‘Instagram Kids’ is the right thing to do, Instagram, and its parent company Facebook, will re-evaluate the project at a later date. In the interim Instagram will continue to focus on teen safety and expanding parental supervision features for teens. – Statement Issued by Facebook

 

Children under the age of 13 are not supposed to use Instagram, although this is easily circumventing by many by lying about their age. The planned new product, known informally as ‘Instagram for Kids’, would be aimed at the ages 10 to 12 demographic with parents having some control over their usage.

The problem with this is that a similar Facebook product called Messenger Kids was found to be open to abuse by strangers who were able to enter chatrooms.

The plans have been steadily pulled back as more and more advocacy groups, parents, and lawmakers have lined up to take aim at the proposed product plan.

In April, advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood wrote to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying Instagram for Kids would create “challenges to adolescents’ privacy and wellbeing”.

Us Representative Lori Trahan and Senator Richard Blumenthal welcomed the announcement that Facebook would be delaying Instagram for Kids but said in a statement it should go further and ditch the project as a whole.

“We are pleased that Facebook has heeded our calls to stop ploughing ahead with its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children. A ‘pause’ is insufficient, however.

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

 

 

 

More news & Things

More news & Things


James Crossland in Tech

400% Increase In Microsoft Teams Usage: Can This Bridge The Gap Between Frontline Workers & Their Managers?

Microsoft recently made changes to its Teams and Viva platforms ahead of the February 1st Cloud For Retail general availability – and published a report alongside the changes which outlines the challenges frontline workers are facing in 2022. According to Jared Spataro (Microsoft’s CVP for Modern Work), Microsoft defines a frontline work as “folks who […]


James Crossland in CENTRAL GOVERNMENT

Ukraine Target Of Sustained Hacking: Early Reports Point The Finger At Russia

Cyber Actors threatened citizens with the publication of their private data A number of government websites in the Ukraine recently came under fire from a sustained hacking attack on the 13th of January, which involved cyber attackers distributing menacing messages which appear to be aimed at intimidating Ukrainian citizens. A Facebook post by the Ministry […]


James Crossland in CENTRAL GOVERNMENT

West Mids Transport Chiefs Have Agreed Priorities For A £1.3bn Investment In The Region

A list of preferred priorities and schemes will now be submitted by the combined authority to the Department for Transport for final approval.   That £1.3bn of investment will be spent on over fifty different transportation improvement projects within the West Midlands, with a full list to be published as soon as the DoT have […]


James Crossland in CENTRAL GOVERNMENT

UK Government Removes Community Wealth Fund Amendment From Upcoming Bill

The UK Government have just removed an amendment from the upcoming Dormant Assets Bill that would allow for the creation of Community Wealth Funds… however acknowledged  there was a lot of widespread support for the concept.   The amendment, previously added by the House of Lords, was removed in the House of Commons during its […]


James Crossland in Non-Profit

Wales Has An Additional Duty To Climate Change Due To Its Coal Mining Past – Conservationist Claims

Leading Welsh NonProfit conservationist claims Wales has a ‘particular responsibility’ to help fight climate change due to its coal mining history.   Ru Hartwell, director of NonProfit Carbon Link, has recently been quoted as saying Wales ‘invented’ a model for industrial development based almost exclusively on exploiting fossil fuels.   Carbon Link runs a tree-planting […]


Chloe Smith in NonProfit

What Happens Once the Small Charities Coalition Closes Its Doors For Good?

A breakdown of what the closure of the membership body means for the more than 16,000 organisations it serves, and what the sector needs to consider following its impact. Small Charities Coalition announced in December that lack of funds has meant it will close in spring.   [We have] exhausted all possibilities to secure funding […]


Send us a Message






    Call cloudThing
    0121 393 4700
    DEVELOP • DYNAMICS • DEVOPS • DATA
    By pressing send you agree to our Terms & Conditions