Instagram has put a hold on a new app it’s developing for youngsters, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing service announced on Monday, after mounting resistance to the idea. And for that Facebook has faced hard criticism from lawmakers over its idea.
“While we believe building ‘Instagram Kids’ is the right thing to do, Instagram, and its parent company Facebook will re-evaluate the project at a later date. In the interim Instagram will continue to focus on teen safety and expanding parental supervision features for teens,” the company said in a statement.
The delay comes after an explosive Wall Street Journal https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-knows-instagram- revealed that Facebook’s Instagram programme has consistently been shown to be detrimental to many teens. According to the Journal, Facebook conducted a study over the previous three years on how Instagram affects its younger user base, particularly teen girls.
According to a Facebook internal presentation, 13% of British users and 6% of American users who expressed suicidal thoughts blamed the problem on Instagram.
The revelation prompted legislators to revisit their worries about the social networking app. Representatives from both sides of the aisle sought answers from Facebook shortly after the news surfaced. Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Massachusetts, also urged Facebook to drop its Instagram for Kids initiative.
Executive director of an advocacy group focused on kids, Fairplay Josh Golin says, “We won’t stop pressuring Facebook until they permanently pull the plug,” said.
On Thursday, Antigone Davis, the global head of safety at Facebook, will appear before the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection.
Facebook has justified its attempts to increase the number of children who use the app on many occasions. Children are already online, Mosseri claimed in a blog post published early Monday.
“The reality is that kids are already online, and we believe that developing age-appropriate experiences designed specifically for them is far better for parents than where we are today,” it said.
He further said, “Critics of ‘Instagram Kids’ will see this as an acknowledgment that the project is a bad idea. That’s not the case. The reality is that kids are already online, and we believe that developing age-appropriate experiences designed specifically for them is far better for parents than where we are today.”
Instagram will take a break from its operations to talk to parents, professionals, legislators, and authorities about their concerns.
Instagram will also try to make its parental controls available to adolescent accounts.“These new features, which parents and teens can opt into, will give parents the tools to meaningfully shape their teen’s experience,” Mosseri said.