An international association of children’s health attorney called on Facebook to cast aside its initiative to launch an Instagram product for newbies, causing harm to teens from unrestrained social media usage.
The initiative follows Buzzfeed’s March report that Facebook is working on an Instagram product for users under the age of 13. Users must be 13 years old or older to open an account with the firm.
In a letter organized by the Campaign for a New Generation, a youth activism non-profit, More than 20 organizations, as well as hundreds of human activists and analysts, have said that an Instagram for kids would “put young people at great risk,” and have urged Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s CEO, to abandon the idea. They cite a “growing body of evidence” showing that social media has harmful impacts on young people.
According to the letter, “Instagram, in particular, uses young people’s fear of losing out and need for peer acceptance to inspire children and teenagers to search their smartphones and post pictures with their followers.” “The platform’s unwavering emphasis on style, self-presentation, and branding poses a threat to teenagers’ privacy and well-being.”
Although Instagram has been seen to have negative impacts on teenagers, the influence could be much more severe for those under the age of 13.
“Algorithmic predictions about what young children would click on next are extremely persuadable, and we are very curious about how automatic decision making will decide what children see and experience on a kids’ Instagram platform,” says the study. According to the message.
The letter comes as tech giants, including Facebook, face heightened criticism over the effect of their apps on public health. After Buzzfeed wrote on the possibility of a kid’s Instagram, Edward Markey, Kathy Castor, and other members of Congress took action. Richard Blumenthal and Lori Trahan wrote to Mark Zuckerberg, requesting more information about the initiative, which they expressed “strong reservations” about.
“Facebook has a duty to ensure that all digital sites or programs aimed at children priorities the needs of those people, and we remain uncertain that Facebook is prepared to meet this obligation,” they added.
The Federal Trade Commissioners released a joint statement in December in favor of an inquiry into the effects of social media on youth. The commissioners said, “It is disturbing that we still know so little about corporations that know so much about us.”
At a hearing this year on Facebook antitrust issues, Zuckerberg dismissed the platform’s critics, adding, “There is a huge amount of people under the age of 13 who would like to use a site like Instagram” to “keep linked with friends.”
A request for comment on the letter was not promptly returned by Facebook.
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