Sep 27, 2021. After a 6 month campaign led by Fairplay, Facebook pauses planned Instagram for Kids.

Contact:
David Monahan, Fairplay (david@fairplayforkids.org)

After a 6 month campaign led by Fairplay, Facebook pauses planned Instagram for Kids.

BOSTON, MA —Monday, September 21, 2021—Today, after a six-month campaign led by Fairplay, Facebook announced they are pausing their plans for a kids’ version of Instagram. In April, Fairplay (then called Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood) sent a letter signed by over 100 child development experts and advocates demanding Facebook scrap their plans. Since then, leading members of Congress, 44 state attorneys general, and over 200,000 concerned individuals have joined Fairplay in calling on Facebook to shelve Instagram Youth. 

Below is a statement from Fairplay’s Executive Director, Josh Golin:

“Six months ago, when word leaked that Facebook was planning a kids’ version of Instagram, it was assumed the project was a done deal because Facebook usually does whatever it wants. But we knew the stakes were too high. So, we organized parents, advocates, experts, regulators, and lawmakers to pressure Facebook to scrap its plans. Today is a watershed moment for the growing tech accountability movement and a great day for anyone who believes that children’s wellbeing should come before Big Tech’s profits. We commend Facebook for listening to the many voices who have loudly and consistently told them that Instagram Youth will result in significant harms to children.

We urge Facebook to use this “pause” to actually engage with the independent child development experts who understand how Instagram Youth will undermine young children’s wellbeing. We also call on Facebook to immediately release its internal research that shows Instagram is harmful to teens. We won’t stop pressuring Facebook until they permanently pull the plug on IG Youth and take real steps to make their platform safer for teens.”

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