Facebook hits the brakes on "Instagram Kids" following backlash

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 09/28/2021, 2:05 PM

(NATIONAL) "Instagram Kids" is on pause- for now- Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced via their blog on Monday.

"While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we’ve decided to pause this project," Mosseri said. "This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today." 

The announcement followed a summer of public backlash for the under 13 platform, including outcry was from Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC). CCFC and dozens of other organizations sent this letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg In May, urging him to stop targeting young kids. 

It's an issue legislators have also zeroed in on in recent years. The latest on that front, a House subcommittee meeting titled "Protecting Kids Online: Facebook, Instagram, and Mental Health Harms" is scheduled for this Thursday. The meeting text cites concerns following the recent Wall Street Journal investigations, with plans to discuss "Facebook’s research into the impact of its apps on young audiences, its actions to address threats to these users, and policy considerations to safeguard kids online." 

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