For years, Facebook has been developing a so-called “Instagram for Kids” platform aimed at children under 13. This has drawn fierce criticism from parents, privacy advocates and lawmakers, though Facebook always insisted it would plow ahead on creating the platform anyway. However, all that changed this week in the wake of several bombshell Wall Street Journal reports that revealed Facebook is well aware of the fact that Instagram is bad for young users. As a result of those reports, Facebook announced that it will be pausing development of Instagram for Kids — for now.
“While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we’ve decided to pause this project,” head of Instagram Adam Mosseri wrote in a blog post. “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.”
In his comments, Mosseri didn’t outright deny any claims from the WSJ reports. Instead, he said that he “disagreed” with their conclusions, and that the stories “raised a lot of questions” that the company wasn’t prepared to answer. He also basically said that Facebook will proceed with its plans eventually. So while this may feel like a victory for privacy advocates, it’s likely just a temporary win in a much longer battle.
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