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A coalition of Attorneys General have asked Facebook to stop pestering kids

Just say no to Instagram Kids

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg
Image: KnowTechie

Facebook has a pretty bad track record when it comes to keeping children safe on their platforms, so the upcoming plans for Instagram Kids have a coalition of the Attorneys General of 44 states worried.

They sent a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday, asking him to halt the upcoming launch of the new platform which is aimed at the under-13’s. The signatories to the letter include New York Attorney General Letitia James and California Attorney General Rob Bonta, and it’s full of worrisome stuff.

None more worrisome than the actual idea of Instagram Kids though, where somehow Facebook’s idea of keeping young people safe on the internet is to round them all up into one place, so they can only speak to others under 13.

At least, that’s the thought. How is Facebook going to stop anyone over 13 from joining the service? It can’t even control the over the age of 13 requirements for Facebook or Instagram, as evidenced by tweens and younger just faking their year of birth to get onto the existing platforms. Who thought this was a good idea?

Apparently, the Attorneys General were similarly appalled by Facebook’s intentions, saying they have “historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms.” 

This whole idea of an under-13s Instagram is antithetical to the AG’s “interest in protecting our youngest citizens and Facebook’s plans to create a platform where kids under the age of 13 are encouraged to share content online is contrary to that interest.”

In a statement made to Motherboard, a Facebook spokesperson said that they’re simply “exploring” a kids version of Instagram and that they intend to work with legislators as it progresses. Let’s hope those legislators kill the app before it arrives, unlike Messenger for Kids, which had a bug that let unauthorized users message the kids using the app.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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