A nonprofit on Facebook called on the chief to scrap plans to launch an Instagram platform for preline kids.
An advocacy group on Thursday called on Facebook’s chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg to scrap plans to launch a version of the popular photo-sharing app Instagram for children under the age of 13, saying the pre-date was “at serious risk”.
“Instagram, in particular, exploits the desire for peer approval to encourage young people to regularly check their devices and share photos with their followers, for fear of missing young people,” the letter said.PDF) From the non-profit organization Campaign for Commerce-Free Childhood (CCFC).
BuzzFeed News last month Report Instagram plans to launch a version for prettiest children.
CCFC says the focus on the appearance and branding of social media sites is already a big challenge for the privacy and well-being of young children.
However, those under the age of 13 are less equipped to face these challenges as they navigate an important stage of development where they begin to learn about social interactions and their strengths and challenges.
The group claims that the current version of Instagram is not safe for children under the age of 13 and has asked the Facebook chief to do something to protect millions of children who have lied about their age.
The presence of minors on the platform could be a violation of the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and other nations’ privacy laws, they added.
The new version of Instagram is likely to target children under the age of 10 because those who have an Instagram account between the ages of 10 and 12 are unlikely to move to the new kids version after the actual deal, the letter said.
It also went on to warn of the dangers of extra screen time. Obesity, low mental health, decreased happiness, decreased sleep quality, increased risk of depression, and increased suicide attempts have all been associated with the use of additional social media.
Social media is a less-friendly place for children. The CCFC added that the F-Nation of American teens said they had been chatted on social media and the young girls said they felt pressured to post sexual selfies to “like” and gain legitimacy.
And to make matters worse, social media platforms spread images and materials of sexual abuse with children, easily accessible to children.
Among the dozens of international organizations signing the letter are the South African Center for Justice and Crime Prevention, the Norwegian Cancer Society and the American Consumer Federation. Among the signatories are child psychiatrists, human rights lawyers and professors.
CCFC is a non-profit organization that believes that child-targeted marketing and extra screening harms child development. It’s dedicated to ending kids marketing.