Editorial: Instagram is not a place for children | Chroniclers


Unfortunately, all of this thoughtful thinking has produced an inconsistent result. In the same post in which Facebook announced the changes, he also conceded that he was moving forward with a new version of Instagram aimed at children under 13. Dubbed Instagram Youth, the concept was so blatantly obnoxious that it garnered opprobrium from health experts and consumer advocates, lawmakers on both sides and nearly every state attorney general across the country.

A letter from health experts could hardly have been more brutal. “The platform’s focus on appearance, self-presentation and branding presents challenges for the privacy and well-being of adolescents,” he said. “Younger children are even less developmentally equipped to face these challenges as they learn to navigate social interactions, friendships and their inner sense of strengths and challenges during this crucial window of development. . “

Facebook justifies this plan with the (rather shameless) theory that since it has largely failed to prevent children from accessing adult Instagram, the children’s version “will reduce the incentive for people under 13 to lie. on their age ”.

One could attribute all of this to Facebook’s lack of standard tact. Yet the company’s treatment of young people has been particularly irresponsible. For years, he refused to make changes that would prevent kids from racking up credit card bills on his platform. In 2016, she started paying young people – including minors – $ 20 per month to use an app that gave the company full access to their web and phone activity. Its Messenger Kids app is aimed at users as young as 6, although experts have warned that it is very likely to “undermine healthy development in children.” That these schemes continue to go wrong does not seem to be much of a deterrent.

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