Instagram for kids: Petitions urging Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook to scrap plan garner 1.8 lakh signatures
Earlier this month, a group of 40 US state attorney generals had also urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to abandon plans for Instagram's kids version.
May 26, 2021 / 11:32 AM IST
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had confirmed earlier this year that the company is working on an Instagram version for kids under the age of 13 years. The confirmation made during a US Congressional hearing on misinformation hasn’t been in much of a favour for the social media giant.
According to reports, more than 1.8 lakh people have signed petitions urging Facebook – which owns Instagram – to scrap the platform’s version children.
Separate petitions by three non-profit organisations – Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood, SumOfUs and Juggernaut Project – claim that the version of Instagram for kids is not suitable for children under 13 years. The photo and video-sharing platform currently does not permit users under the age of 13 years.
The non-profit organisations told USA Today that they plan to submit the petitions to Facebook ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting on May 26.
Josh Golin, Executive Director at Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood, said that the groups will not allow Instagram to use children as “pawns in its war with TikTok”.
"Teens and even adults on Instagram struggle with the never-ending focus on appearance, the relentless fear of missing out, promotion of influencer culture and the pressure to collect likes. Instagram for young children is among the greediest, most tone-deaf and wrong-headed ideas ever to emerge from Silicon Valley,” Golin told the newspaper.
On May 10, a group of 40 state attorney generals had also urged Zuckerberg to abandon the plans.
A Facebook spokesperson, in response, said that the company had just started exploring the version and it that was committing “to not showing ads in any Instagram experience we develop for people under the age of 13”.
The company said it agreed that any version of the Instagram app “must prioritise their safety and privacy, and we will consult with experts in child development, child safety and mental health, and privacy advocates to inform it”.