Instagram Kids had been touted as requiring parental permission to register and was supposed to provide ad-free, age-appropriate content, but U.S. lawmakers and advocacy groups have urged the social media giant to abandon its plans to launch, citing security concerns.
“We won’t stop pressuring Facebook until they finally unplug it,” said Josh Golin, executive director of Fairplay, a children’s rights group.
Instagram said in a blog post that setting up Instagram Kids was the right thing to do, but that it was suspending work and would continue to rely on its parental supervision tools.
“The reality is that kids are already online, and we believe that developing age-appropriate experiences designed specifically for them is much better for parents than we are today,” he said. , noting that there were versions of Alphabet Inc. TikTok’s YouTube and ByteDance apps for those under 13.
Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, said on Monday the company was exploring features that would “move” a teenager away from content on Instagram that their tech system says could be negative, or encourage them to take a break. in the app. . He spoke in an interview with the Atlantic Festival.
Four Democratic lawmakers, including US Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal, said Monday they were happy with Facebook’s move, but said the break “is insufficient.”
“Facebook has completely lost the benefit of the doubt when it comes to protecting young people online and it must completely abandon this project,” said lawmakers, who also include US representatives Kathy Castor and Lori Trahan.
In 2017, Facebook launched the standalone Messenger Kids app, an instant messaging platform for children under 13, controlled by a parent’s Facebook account.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal published a data-driven report suggesting that Instagram was having a detrimental effect on teenagers, especially teenage girls, and that Facebook had made minimal efforts to address the issue.
Facebook said on Sunday that the report was “not accurate”.