social media

The news that Facebook may be exploring an Instagram platform aimed at kids under the age of 13 has caught the attentional of the international community – and not for the right reasons.

Yesterday, CNBC reported that Attorneys General from 44 US states and territories signed a letter urging Facebook, which owns Instagram, to drop plans for an Instagram service for kids, highlighting the damaging effects of social media on youths and Facebook’s sloppy track record with data privacy.

Reacting to the news, Ian Gauci, Managing Partner at GTG Advocates, called Facebook’s plans “extremely dangerous”.

Ian Gauci
Dr Ian Gauci

He shared that in creating this space for minors, Facebook will be “harnessing their data, thus profiling kids and vulnerable minors at such a young age, violating their privacy, creating an increased risk of social media exposure and dependency, depression, as well as other harms because of the generative effect of the internet, as well as wide variety of other potential harms, which will tear the social fabric of our future society.” 

“Society 5.0 in Zuckerberg’s panopticon is being served,” Dr Gauci added.

In a statement by Facebook reacting to the letter signed by the AGs, the tech company said it had just started exploring a version of Instagram for kids, and pledged to not show ads “in any Instagram experience we develop for people under the age of 13.”

“We agree that any experience we develop must prioritise their safety and privacy, and we will consult with experts in child development, child safety and mental health, and privacy advocates to inform it.”

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