Washington, DC (May 13, 2021) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has joined other child safety advocates in calling on Facebook to cancel plans to introduce Instagram for children under age 13.
“Creating an Instagram app for kids is not only a bad idea, but irresponsible given Facebook’s abysmal track record protecting children on its various platforms. Rather than building a new platform to hook and monetize young children at even younger ages, Instagram should prioritize stemming the rampant sexual abuse and exploitation of minors currently on Instagram,” said Lina Nealon, director of corporate and strategic initiatives for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
“While the Instagram has recently instituted basic safety standards for its users for which NCOSE and allies have long advocated, Facebook still has a long way to go in making its products safe for kids and it’s unlikely this newest product for children would be completely safe or risk-free.
“Social media platforms are not adequately protecting children from potential predators or harmful content. Furthermore, a growing body of research gives evidence to the extensive detrimental effects to children’s mental, physical, and socio-emotional health when using social media. Instead of creating more avenues for exploitation and harm, Big Tech should invest in making their existing products safer. We join a large group of child advocates who are calling on Facebook to cancel its plans to introduce Instagram for children because doing so would create unnecessary risks to children. Facebook must put children’s health and safety before their bottom line,” said Nealon.
This week, over 40 U.S. Attorneys General also called on Facebook to stop development of Instagram for children.
NCOSE is urging members of the public to sign a petition to Facebook.
About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.