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Facebook pauses kids app development

The Instagram icon on a smart phone Associated Press/Photo by Jenny Kane (file)

Facebook pauses kids app development

Facebook started developing Instagram Kids in March as a platform for users younger than 13 with parental supervision. Since the announcement, activists and lawmakers have asked the social media giant to halt the project. On Monday, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said the company would stop and consult with parents, researchers, and safety experts. Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported Facebook was aware that Instagram, a photo-sharing app, was linked to mental health problems in teen girls. While Instagram Kids is paused, the company will work on parental controls for teen users.

Is social media safe for young kids? Forty-four attorneys general said it wasn’t in a joint letter telling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to scuttle the project. They cited cyberbullying and online predator dangers. The Senate had already scheduled a hearing on Thursday with Facebook’s global safety head about how Instagram affects youth mental health.

Dig deeper: Read Mary Jackson’s report in Relations about how social media use contributes to teen depression.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.



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