After mounting criticism Facebook puts Instagram Kids on hold

Social media giant shelving kids version of Instagram over concerns that social media endangers the mental health of young people.

Dan Verbin, Canada ,

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Facebook announced on Monday that it was pausing the rollout of its Instagram Kids app after being criticized for Facebook’s endangering the mental health of kids and teenagers.

"While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we’ve decided to pause this project," said Facebook in a statement.

The social media giant’s decision to forgo the launch of its new kids app comes in the wake of a statement by a bipartisan group of US senators earlier in September that they planned to begin an investigation into a report that Facebook knew that its site – and that of Instagram, which it also owns – could be “toxic” to the mental health of younger users.

A Wall Street Journal exposé cited an internal Facebook document that stated, “Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse… Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves.”

Facebook had announced plans to build the children’s Instagram app in July but now says it wants to study the issue further before proceeding.

"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," Facebook said.

The company said that it began the project in order to create a platform that would solve the common problem of children misrepresenting their age and using social media apps meant for ages 13 and up.

It said its intent was to give children access to a version of Instagram that was specifically designed for kids, and that would allow a measure of parental supervision and control not available with the regular Instagram.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Simchat Torah and Shmini Atzeret in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)



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