Advocacy groups from around the world have asked Facebook to cancel plans to create an Instagram version for children. The groups fear such an app would do more harm on the privacy and safety of pre-teens.
The more than 100 groups are drawn from Africa, North America, Europe and Australia. They include the Electronic Privacy Information Centre.
Among the pertinent issues in their plea is the exploitation of “young people’s fear of missing out and desire for peer approval … The platform’s relentless focus on appearance, self-presentation and branding presents challenges to adolescents’ privacy and well-being.”
The groups also raised concerns about online predators, bullies and inappropriate content that flows with minimal regulation.
Instagram has plans to launch a version of the image-centric social network for children under 13. Communication from its parent company Facebook said that children are already online and “want to connect with their family and friends, have fun and learn, and we want to help them do that in a way that is safe and age-appropriate … with parental controls.”
However, advocacy groups are adamant that Facebook is the most ‘unsuitable’ company to promise to handle privacy concerns as it had failed to do so on the existing platforms. An Instagram for Kids is therefore an unwelcome idea.