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Facebook says it will "pause" Instagram Kids after backlash

CBS News logo CBS News 9/27/2021 Aimee Picchi
Instagram © Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto Instagram

Facebook said Monday that it will "pause" its development of Instagram Kids, a social media service for children under 13, after pushback from child advocates, parents and lawmakers. Instagram head Adam Mosseri said the company remains committed to the product but will suspend the project as it seeks to address their concerns.

"We'll use this time to work with parents, experts and policymakers to demonstrate the value and need for this product," Mosseri wrote in blog post announcing the move to halt work on Instagram Kids. 

The decision comes after alarm among child advocates, as well as Wall Street Journal investigation, that Facebook's own research had showed Instagram has a negative mental health impact on many teens. In May, attorneys general from more than 40 states and territories asked Facebook to abandon plans for Instagram Kids, pointing to research that found social media can have a harmful impact on children. 


Despite the delay in the project, Mosseri said Facebook still believes in Instagram Kids. 

"We started this project to address an important problem seen across our industry: kids are getting phones younger and younger, misrepresenting their age, and downloading apps that are meant for those 13 or older," Mosseri wrote. 

He added, "We firmly believe that it's better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them — where parents can supervise and control their experience — than relying on an app's ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID."

This is a developing story.


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