Criticism has been rising of a new Facebook project, and the company has now announced it’s “pausing” its Instagram Kids project. The move follows criticism from 44 state attorneys general that asked Facebook to abandon the project and a request from Democratic lawmakers for more details on the plans.
The announcement comes in the wake of an article published by "The Wall Street Journal" claiming that Facebook has ignored its own research showing that Instagram is toxic to the mental health of younger people. Critics are also raising issues based on Facebook’s problems with privacy and child safety, areas that Facebook says the new project is intended to address.
Facebook has pointed out that both YouTube and TikTok have versions of their apps for kids under 13, and that Instagram Kids would be meant for kids between 10 and 12 years old, would require parental permission to join, and wouldn’t have ads.
That may not be enough; the groups of Democratic lawmakers wrote in their request that “pushing kids to sign up for a new platform” may actually “do more harm than good.”