What could possibly go wrong? Facebook is building an Instagram app for kids under 13

Mar 22, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

What could possibly go wrong? Facebook is building an Instagram app for kids under 13

Mar 22, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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If kids under 13 wanted to use Instagram, they’d have to lie about their age when signing up (which, to be honest, is fairly simple). But not anymore: Facebook is now making Instagram that will be intended particularly for the youngest users. What could possibly go wrong?

BuzzFeed News obtained an internal employee message board post confirming the company’s plan:

“I’m excited to announce that going forward, we have identified youth work as a priority for Instagram and have added it to our H1 priority list. We will be building a new youth pillar within the Community Product Group to focus on two things: (a) accelerating our integrity and privacy work to ensure the safest possible experience for teens and (b) building a version of Instagram that allows people under the age of 13 to safely use Instagram for the first time.”

Funnily enough, the announcement came only two days after Instagram updated its security measures in an attempt to make the younger audience safer. These measures include restricting DMs between teens and adults they don’t follow, as well as prompts to make young users be more cautious. In the post announcing these changes, Instagram writes:

“We require everyone to be at least 13 to use Instagram and have asked new users to provide their age when they sign up for an account for some time. While many people are honest about their age, we know that young people can lie about their date of birth. We want to do more to stop this from happening, but verifying people’s age online is complex and something many in our industry are grappling with.”

So, instead of making it more difficult for the kids under 13 to lie about their age – Instagram will just make a separate platform for them?

On the one hand, I get it. Most people can’t forbid children to use phones and social media because “everyone else is doing it.” So it’s better to at least have a platform where they will be in touch with kids their own age and hidden away from predators.

But on the other hand, there are so many things that can go wrong here. Even without the adult predators out of the equation, what are we gonna do about cyberbullying? Kids can be really cruel (trust me, I know, I was a fat kid with straight A’s). And they’re even crueler on social media than they are in real life. While Instagram is constantly introducing new anti-bullying tools, they’re far from solving the problem altogether.

Also, remember how I mentioned kids lying about their age on this regular “above 13” Instagram? What stops adults from lying about their age as well and infiltrate among children on the upcoming “under 13” platform? I get the chills just thinking about it.

All in all, I find that there are more cons than pros to making the “Instagram for kids.” But that could be because I’m a bit “old school:” I first made a social media account when I was around 16 (remember MySpace?). Also, I don’t have children so their presence on social media is not something I’m too concerned about. Therefore, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Do you think this is a good idea and why?

[via BuzzFeed News]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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12 responses to “What could possibly go wrong? Facebook is building an Instagram app for kids under 13”

  1. Don Navarro Avatar
    Don Navarro

    Pedogram?

    1. Scott Burns Avatar
      Scott Burns

      Don Navarro That was my first thought. ?
      TikTok is bad enough

  2. Michael Estwik Avatar
    Michael Estwik

    If people above age of 13 has mental issues due to Instagram, why on earth would that be an great idea to imply it on kids under age of 13?

    Is it just to create that wonderful soul-sucking mining database of information of youngsters, just to have enough data till when they turn 13 and they can cash it in?

    Facebook, go F-yourself. You don’t care about anything than data, and collecting information on these kids of this new “Kidstagram” is so morally wrong. You are like a grown-up putting a camera in the kids shower.

    1. Helen Gee Avatar
      Helen Gee

      Michael Estwik It really is the parents’ job to filter this stuff out for their kids. I see so many young kids on instagram already. They are definitely under 13.

    2. Michael Estwik Avatar
      Michael Estwik

      Helen Gee unfortunately, parents today doesn’t really know what their ten year old is doing on their Iphone.

    3. Helen Gee Avatar
      Helen Gee

      Yup, I see it every day..And parents love to blame everyone else!

  3. Marco Peixoto Avatar
    Marco Peixoto

    As long as they put a filter to prevent Catholic Church they should be safe.

  4. Chester Kher Avatar
    Chester Kher

    What a dumb idea. No hassle for pedophile to even search for victims now.

    1. Michael Estwik Avatar
      Michael Estwik

      Exactly, I mean how can an app prove that you ain’t above 13.

    2. Chester Kher Avatar
      Chester Kher

      Michael Estwik go through an approval system with real human. It’s not gonna happen. Pedos are gonna find a creative way to bypass it. FB HR dept won’t create an additional team just for this as well.

    3. Michael Estwik Avatar
      Michael Estwik

      Chester Kher they will, even forums for kids has pedophiles as members. Once in a while we hear about it. Even when the forum is moderated by actual adults, they can’t tell the difference from an actual kid and a pedophile. If an adult can’t tell them apart, how is FB going to do that? By AI? Are they going to monitoring everything kids do and say? Even in the chats?

      I would guess that pedophiles around the globe is cheering about this. Endless amount of pictures of kids in their pocket.

  5. yuppymike Avatar
    yuppymike

    This is just as shady as Tobacco companies trying to get kids to think smoking is cool so they are fully into it by the time they can legally buy them.

    Instagram now making sure kids are fully hooked on getting likes and followers before they finish school so when they are old enough to have the main account, they cant possibly go without it.