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Facebook Falls as Public Outcry Forces it to Pause Instagram Kids

Stock MarketsSep 27, 2021 09:18
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By Dhirendra Tripathi

Investing.com – Facebook stock (NASDAQ:FB) fell 0.8% in Monday’s premarket trading as the social media giant decided to pause work on Instagram Kids to build parental supervision tools for it, first.

The company has for long been accused of neglecting the impact its popular apps has on young adolescents, a claim it disputes. Development of an app for an even younger group of kids was thus causing even greater anxiety among parents, something the company claims to be redressing now.

According to the company, it was developing a new version of its popular app to address the challenges posed by children misrepresenting to be teenagers when they were not. The company was relying on the app’s ability to identify the age, a feature that was exploited by children.

It now wants to give parents control of how their children use the app.. During this time, it said it will “listen to 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."

“We firmly believe that it’s better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them — where parents can supervise and control their experience — than relying on an app’s ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID,” Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said in a blog post on the company’s website.

Mosseri said the new version of the app was never meant for younger kids, but for tweens (aged 10-12).  It will require parental permission to join, it won’t have ads, and it will have age-appropriate content and features, he wrote.

Facebook’s move comes after deep research by journalists at The Wall Street Journal showed that Instagram use was leading to high anxiety, mental-health, body-image and confidence issues in teenage girls.

The WSJ said the company is “acutely aware that the products and systems central to its business success routinely fail”. The documents also show that Facebook has made minimal efforts to address these issues and plays them down in public, the WSJ report said.

Mosseri disputed the claims made by WSJ.  

Facebook Falls as Public Outcry Forces it to Pause Instagram Kids
 

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