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Instagram Kids development halted following widespread criticism

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Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, announced on Monday that the company is pausing the development work for Instagram Kids following widespread criticism from parents, experts and activists globally.

The company has been working on Instagram Kids for people under the age of 13. The app is supposed to be a safer and ad-free environment for kids to interact in and help their parents supervise and control that experience without relying on the main Instagram app’s ability to verify the age.

However, due to online criticism and backlash from the parents on the internet, Instagram is now pausing all efforts towards building the platform, and Mosseri says they’ll now instead take time out to “work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators” before starting the development work again.

Instagram will now be working on bringing the parental supervision tools they’ve created for Instagram Kids to the main Instagram app.

While work on the Kids-focussed app is currently suspended, Instagram will be introducing opt-in parental supervision tools for teen accounts (aged 13 and over) on the main Instagram app.

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“Critics of “Instagram Kids” will see this as an acknowledgement that the project is a bad idea. That’s not the case. The reality is that kids are already online, and we believe that developing age-appropriate experiences designed specifically for them is far better for parents than where we are today,” Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, announced on Monday. “While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we’ve decided to pause this project.”

Facebook says WSJ lied

On Sunday, Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, published a rebuttal to The Wall Street Journal’s report on the adverse effects of Facebook and Instagram on the mental health of teen girls and how the social media giant downplays their role.

WSJ’s report was based on Facebook’s own in-depth research. While Facebook was quick to get on the backfoot and start defending themselves, they’ve yet to show a transparent hand by releasing the company’s research documents. If anything, Facebook yet again plays down their role.

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