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South Africa & World

Facebook’s Instagram For Kids Questioned


By Tendai Mukaro

Concerns have been raised over Facebook’s intentions to extend its Instagram user base by introducing Instagram for kids.

The application has not yet been launched with Facebook confirming the project was in the pipeline and aimed at meeting the needs of its clientele.

“Increasingly kids are asking their parents if they can join applications that help them keep up with their friends,” Facebook spokesperson Joe Osborne,” said.

Facebook went on to verify the credibility of this new application as it would ensure privacy and security to the pre-teens.

“We will be building a new youth pillar within the community product group to focus on two things: accelerating our integrity and privacy work to ensure the safest possible experience for teens and also building a version of Instagram that allows people under the age of 13 to safely use Instagram for the first time,” said Vishal Shah Instagram’s Vice President of Product.

Instagram for kids is intended to be under parental control and its goal is to assist kids to keep up with their friends, discover new hobbies and interests.

However, Facebook’s initiative has faced criticism from users with others blaming the company for valuing profits over the future of children.

Others argue this might lead to early exposure to negative content such as sexual explicit content, hate speech, cyber bullying and addictive applications which had the potential to disturb focus of kids on serious matters like education.

The following are some of the comments on Twitter.

John Giuffre: “The PR for this statement is will this help ensure sexual content is not seen by kids and we can make it better for their mental health while the reality is that it will be easier than ever to target children with adverts, sexual content and bullying but, it is making us a billion of dollars so whatever.”

Nick Arzuola: “Facebook and their brain manipulation tactics.”

Fear Ameer: “Basically soft-core child porn on there.
“There are never consequences: “Responsible parents do not let their kids on social media till they are old enough to buy their own bail/therapy/liquor”

Jeremyaustin: “My wife and I do not have kids but if we did, they would not be on social media until they are old enough.”

However some users agree with information posted in Facebook’s blog earlier this week which stated that though Instagram requires people to enter their age when signing for Instagram there was nothing to prevent people from lying at registration therefore introducing Instagram for Kids would actually be better as the application has filtered content ,enables parental control and also blocks stranger adults from accessing minors accounts.

Some feel like it was already too late as kids had already tasted the adult version would never demote themselves to a filtered and parental controlled version.

Here are some of the comments.

Cautious Optimus: “They are already on Facebook; kids lie about their age to join Facebook.”

Fowl: “Definitely can’t see this going wrong in anyway.”

Mark Poppeni: “If they do like their kids messenger Im ok with it.

“Parents still have full access to their kids chat.”

Robert Tapfumaneyi