A kid’s version of Instagram is in the works

Source: Buzzfeed

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri testified before Congress this morning, CNBC reports. Mosseri refused to cancel the plans to create a kid-friendly version of Instagram for users under the age of 13.

CNBC stated that “Mosseri told the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection that he is the ultimate decision-maker on the matter.” His plan is to create this version of Instagram to keep children under the age of 13 from downloading Instagram without their parent’s permission.

The day before this testimony, the company announced that it will be making new teen safety adjustments to the app, such as a “Take a Break” notifications, removing users’ ability to tag teens that do not follow them, and eventually options to allow parents to monitor teens’ Instagram usage.

The Congress hearing was about online child safety and protection, as too many underaged users have created Instagram accounts due to issues with age verification. Lawmakers have been unhappy with the speed of the plaform’s implementation of safety measures, feeling as if Instagram is not committed to the safety of children.

Instagram’s commitment to safety has been a hot topic since whistleblower Frances Haugen released documents from Facebook and Instagram, exposing Meta‘s tendency to ignore negative data. According to The Washington Post, data shows that Instagram negatively affects young users’ mental health and body image, with “17% of teen girls [saying] that their eating disorders got worse after Instagram use.”

The subcomittee now lacks trust in Instagram and Facebook, seeing how they ignored and hid negative data, rather than building solutions and implementing safety measures.

The day before this testimony, the company announced that it will be making new teen safety adjustments to the app, such as a “Take a Break” notifications, removing users’ ability to tag teens that do not follow them, and eventually options to allow parents to monitor teens’ Instagram usage.

With all of this new information about how Instagram plans to improve its safety measures, it leaves people wondering about the effectiveness and if something like a kid-friendly Instagram should even be created. Though it seems like a safer option at first, it could pose a new set of safety issues that could have been avoided.

Despite all of this, development of the app has been paused and there is no projected release date at this time.

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