Facebook confirmed it is working on a children’s version of its popular Instagram app. LITERALLY everyone except Facebook criticized the announcement.
Instagram’s parent company Facebook is developing a version of the social media platform for children under 13 years old, who are currently barred from using the app.
- Facebook execs say it’s still in the planning stages but that the goal is to make a product that provides parents control similar to their Messenger Kids app.
- Critics argued it’s just a way for Facebook to “expand its user base and condition children” to engage in social media for long-term profit.
- One organization that bills itself as a “tech watchdog group” says because of the high percentage of online conversations of teens and pre-teens involving suicide, self-harm, and sexually oriented material, “adding more screen time or social media time” is not in the best interest of children.
- Buzzfeed News highlights the concerns over normalizing social media behavior and degrading online privacy for monetization.
- Time drew a parallel between the Instagram for kids and a security flaw in the Messenger Kids app that allowed un-approved adults to chat with children.
- Like Buzzfeed and Time with “watchdog groups”, The Week drew on criticism and concerns from academia, citing Swineburne University lecturer Belinda Barnett who called it “a bad idea all around.”
- OANN’s original reporting prioritized the belief among internet safety advocates that it opens children up to vulnerability against online predators.
- The Telegraph emphasized the addictive nature of social media, quoting a psychiatrist who said the algorithms used to create addictive content should not be deployed in a children’s version of Instagram.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021