Public health experts are urging Facebook to leave behind its plans for a new version of Instagram targeted at kids under 13. Such a plan, these groups said in a letter sent on Thursday, would “put young users at great risk,” arguing that Facebook isn’t ready to introduce and oversee an app that could have such a powerful influence over young children.
The new app, which Facebook says will not include ads, is being designed for children under the minimum age for Instagram, which is 13. Facebook also says it’s trying to find new methods, including using artificial intelligence, to confirm that users on the main Instagram platform aren’t under 13. That age restriction is a product of a 1998 law called the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA), which establishes more stringent requirements and potential financial liabilities for online platforms that collect personal information about users under 13 without their parents’ consent. Child safety experts worry that social media poses additional threats to young children, too.
“Instagram’s focus on photo sharing and appearance makes the platform particularly unsuitable for children who are in the midst of crucial stages of developing their sense
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