An international coalition of 35 consumer advocacy groups and 64 experts in child development last week called on Facebook to ditch plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under 13.

In a press release, the coalition, led by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, said research demonstrates “Instagram, in particular, exploits young people’s fear of missing out and desire for peer approval.”

Instagram requires users to be 13 years or older to create an account, but in March, Buzzfeed reported on the social media giant’s plan to build a version of the platform for people under the age of 13 years to allow them to “safely” use Instagram for the first time. Facebook told the Guardian the company was exploring a “parent-controlled version” of Instagram, similar to the Messenger Kids app that is for kids between six and 12.

But in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, child development experts and consumer groups criticized the move:

“The platform’s relentless focus on appearance, self-presentation and branding presents challenges to adolescents’ privacy and well-being … Younger children are even less developmentally equipped to deal with these challenges, as they are learning to navigate social interactions, friendships and their inner sense of strengths during this crucial window of development.”

The authors of the letter said Facebook’s “long track record of exploiting young people and putting them at risk makes the company particularly unsuitable as the custodian of a photo-sharing and social-messaging site for children.”

The groups pointed to news reports about leaked documents showing how Facebook boasted to advertisers that it could target teens at the exact moment they were feeling bad about themselves, including when they have negative thoughts about their bodies.

The letter cited more than 20 studies on the negative impact of social media on children, which include:

According to the letter, research published in 2020 showed “vast amounts of data” from apps played by kids were sent to the Facebook Graph database, yet “no effort has been made by your company to address the problem of the children’s data that you possess or process for marketing purposes.”

The letter also noted that in 2019, a design flaw in Facebook’s Messenger Kids allowed young children to circumvent parental controls and chat with strangers.

Signatories of the letter include: Center for Humane Technology, Common Sense, 5Rights Foundation, Center for Digital Democracy, ParentsTogether Action, Global Action Plan UK and the creators of “The Social Dilemma,” a documentary about the hidden agendas of social media and search platforms.

As The Defender reported in January, Instagram recently launched a “Shop” tab that experts say exists solely for the purpose of surveillance capitalism. Nazanin Andalibi, Ph.D., with the Center for Social Media Responsibility and Center for Ethics, Society and Computing, wrote:

“As a researcher who studies social media, people and society, I’m concerned about the effects of surveillance capitalism. This includes social media companies profiting from collecting user data, making algorithmic inferences about people’s preferences and using this information to target people with advertising.”

Instagram’s top competitor in social media — TikTok — already has an app tailored to kids under 13. According to TechCrunch, TikTok was forced to “age-gate its app” as a result of its settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC had investigated (the app that became TikTok) for violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA). TechCrunch reported:

“Facebook, too, could be in a similar situation where it has to age-gate Instagram in order to properly direct its existing underage users to a COPPA-compliant experience. At the very least, Facebook has grounds to argue that it shouldn’t have to boot the under-13 crowd off its app, since TikTok did not. And the FTC’s fines, even when historic, barely make a dent in tech giants’ revenues.”

In December, the FTC issued a joint statement in support of an investigation of social media’s impact on children. The statement said in part:

“The FTC wants to understand how business models influence what Americans hear and see, with whom they talk, and what information they share. The questions push to uncover how children and families are targeted and categorized.”

The post Facebook Must Ditch Plans to Launch Instagram for Children Under 13, Experts Say appeared first on Children’s Health Defense.


Thanks to your donations, we can move to the next step.  We have filed to incorporate Awake Canada as a registered non profit charitable organization.  To be transparent, I have posted the receipts below.

For those that do not know why we did this, let me explain.   We are going to start using corporate clout to tackle some of the companies that are violating our rights.  Our first target is Facebook Canada for the unlawful censorship, banning, and shadow banning of Canadian Citizens.  Facebook is a platform, not a publisher.  They can write all the mumbo jumbo they want into their terms and conditions, but it does not excuse them from medical liability if people are harmed by them censoring doctors, and lawyers about what is really going on with Covid.

As a registered member of Awake Canada, if we push to class action, you will be automatically entered into this class action and dismissed if you have not ever had a facebook account.   My lawyer will inform me on this as we move to this process.  We are going to start by placing an injunction on my personal account, removing all bans, and shadow bans, and the Awake Canada facebook page.  Any action they take against this page or the content, will be challenged legally.  Be sure you are a member of that page if you are not.   You can join our Facebook Here.

We are temporarily going to pause donations, until the registration process is complete and a new bank account for Awake Canada is setup.  Separating my personal affairs from this corporation is KEY to being successful in our campaigns.

Stay tuned for further updates!

Help us spread the word, by sharing these vital links below:

To see Bonnie Henry’s emails proving knowledge of harm of vaccines:

To see the legal challenge that is happening worldwide:

To see hundreds of hours of doctors speaking out:

Important legal documents to your rights as Canadian citizen:

The most important documentary on what is happening in the world right now:

Proof of Genocide:

Dr. David Martin lays it out for you:

The only proof anyone should need:

Alarming uptick in cancers since jab rollout:

3 times more covid deaths since vaccine rollout:

One America Insurance CEO reports 40% increase in death claims since vaccine rollout: