Attorney General Daniel Cameron urges Facebook to not launch Instagram Kids
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined 44 other attorney generals in signing a letter to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, asking him to stop the launch of a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13.
Cameron and the other attorneys general believe the launch of the new app could bring serious safety concerns and potential harm aimed at young children. The letter also included research on the effects of social media on children. A 2017 survey found that 42 percent of young Instagram users had experienced cyberbullying on the platform, the highest percentage of any platform measured.
“We have a responsibility to protect our youngest citizens, and a version of Instagram specifically aimed at children under 13 poses significant health and safety risks for Kentucky children,” said Attorney General Cameron. “We already know that child predators regularly use social media platforms to communicate with children, and we cannot give them a new opportunity to target those who are most vulnerable to exploitation.”
The letter also explained that online predators can take advantage of children using the app. In 2020 alone, Facebook and Instagram reported 20 million child sexual abuse images.
The attorney generals also mentioned that they fear that Facebook engineers might not know how to protect children on the proposed Instagram platform and comply with relevant privacy laws such as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
They brought up the most recent event of Facebook’s Messenger Kids app, intended for kids between the ages of six and 12, contained a glitch that allowed children to join group chats with strangers who were not parent-approved.
To view a copy of the letter, click here.
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