DEMOCRATS QUESTION INSTAGRAM FOR KIDS
Democrats told Facebook on Monday they have concerns about the platform’s plans for an Instagram for children over the company’s “past failures” to protect kids on platforms aimed at youth users.
“Facebook has a record of failing to protect children’s privacy and safety, casting serious doubt on its ability to do so on a version of Instagram that is marketed to children,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.) wrote in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The Democrats pressed Facebook over concerns about children’s safety in regards to health, well being and data privacy.
Instagram requires users to be at least 13 years old to make an account, but Facebook has acknowledged that young users sometimes lie about their date of birth in creating an account.
“If we can encourage kids to use an experience that is age-appropriate and managed by parents, we think that’s far better than kids using apps that weren’t designed for them,” Stephanie Otway, a Facebook spokesperson, said in response to the letter.
But the Democrats said that if Facebook’s goal is to decrease the number of users under the age of 13 on Instagram, the proposal for an alternative “may do more harm than good.”