The photo sharing app does not allow under 13s to use the platform, although some lie about their age to do so .Facebook has been developing an Instagram page specifically designed for kids following which 44 attorneys general have written a joint letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg to abandon the plan terming it harmful.
They have argued that, use of social media can be detrimental to the wellbeing of children, who’ are not equipped to deal with the challenges of having a social media account and that Facebook has a record of failing to protect the welfare of children on its platforms.
In the letter, the attorneys referred to a study where Instagram was frequently linked to suicidal ideation; anxiety about being socially excluded; bullying, and body image concerns. They also argued that children under the age of 13 are not yet capable of handling challenges that come with using social media platform safely, making them very vulnerable.
The attorneys also expressed concern about the alarming rates of cyberbullying among children which also suggest that a kids Instagram platform could aggravate.
Facebook on the other hand have responded saying that its better to have dedicated platforms for kids to stop them lying to get on adult sites, where there is no parental oversight. That they want to improve the situation by delivering experiences that gives parents visibility and control over what their kids are doing.
Facebooks Messenger kids which is created on the same premise, has shown to be porous to strangers via group charts. Thus conforming the fact that children do not have a developed understanding of privacy and may not fully appreciate what content is appropriate to post online and who have access on what they share, as they still young to handle the complexities coming with online platforms, including inappropriate content and sometimes predators who disguise their identities using anonymity on the internet.
In the UK for instance, one report shows 200 percent in recorded instances in the use of Instagram to target and abuse children over a period of 6 months. Police reports documented more cases of sexual grooming on Instagram than any other social media platform.And in 2020 alone Facebook and Instangram reported 20 million child sexual abuse images.