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As Facebook Plans Instagram For Kids, Child Safety Experts Urge Mark Zuckerberg To Rethink

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Social media giant Facebook is targeting children below 13 years. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the product team is working on a new version of Instagram for kids under 13. Instagram is a hugely popular social media platform worldwide. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for nearly USD 1 billion. The platform allows users to share photos, videos, and stories. According to Facebook, the new Instagram app for kids will not include ads. The app is being designed especially for kids. It will not provide age-restricted content. The company said that it will explore new methods to including artificial intelligence. Currently, the policy of Instagram doesn’t allow kids under 13 to use the services. Instagram’s main app users are above 13.

The work of Instagram’s new version is being overseen by Adam Mosseri and Pavni Diwanji. While Adam serves as the head of Instagram, Pavni serves as the Vice President at Facebook. Adam was previously at Google where she worked on child-centric products including YouTube Kids. Reports say that Facebook’s decision to launch a new version of Instagram is aimed at addressing the complaints of abuse that teens are facing. Facebook said that it will continue to take measures to make Instagram a safer platform for young users. Instagram noted that it already asks new users to share their age at the time of sign up. The new Instagram version is likely to add a fresh pool of users to the Facebook family products. Facebook’s products have as many as 3.3 billion active users.

Meanwhile, experts working in the field of child safety have expressed reservations over Facebook’s plan to launch Instagram for kids. They have urged Facebook to drop the plan. They fear that the decision will only put kids at great risk as it will act as a powerful tool to influence them. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has sent a letter to Facebook, requesting to review the decision. The letter criticized Facebook and other platforms for acting as a major source of misinformation globally. The letter added that such platforms and other social media sites will expose kids to inappropriate content online. Technically, children below 13 years of age are not allowed by tech companies on their platforms. However, it has been observed that kids are exposed to such platforms much before they turn 13.

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