Zuckerberg Proposes Instagram for Kids

Carly Browder, Staff Writer

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, is making headlines for his new idea, “Instagram for Kids.” The idea was announced just two months ago, and has received lots of backlash and criticism since then.

According to Insider, 40 attorney generals wrote letters to Mark Zuckerberg urging him to abandon his plans of a “kids’ Instagram”. One of the letters sent to Zuckerberg stated how social media can affect the physical, emotional, and overall well-being of children.

According to Vanity Fair, many people are concerned that the age group 12 and under are too young to navigate the harsh complexities of social media.

Zuckerberg’s Facebook platform is one of the most well-known social networking sites, and users have to be at least 13 to sign up.

Currently, Instagram has the same rule. However, both sites don’t enforce that rule, so many kids younger than 13 join the apps. According to Insider, 45% of kids under the age of 13 already use Facebook, and 40% already use Instagram.

Of the 32 people I surveyed, 22 said they too had Facebook and Instagram before the “required” age. Ten people said they did not have Facebook and Instagram before 13. Ten people said yes there should be a kids’ Instagram app, and 14 people said no there shouldn’t.

Senior Cailin Proctor said, “The platforms of social media are damaging even for us almost fully grown teens/adults.”

Our generation was the first to really experience what it’s like to grow up with the internet as such a prominent aspect of our everyday lives.

One of the biggest concerns, also according to Vanity Fair, with this app idea is how detrimental it could be on young kids’ minds.

The internet has proven to affect mental health, especially on younger kids. They might not always know how to handle the hate that comes with the internet.

According to Insider, 36% of kids under the age of 13 said they’ve experienced potentially harmful situations online.

Cari Staples, a senior at James Island, said, “Kids that young shouldn’t have social media. It can make them care too much about other people’s opinions.”

Katy Hessert, another senior at James Island, said, “In my Teacher Cadet class, I’ve seen a lot of my students have access to things like TikTok and Twitter, which are barely regulated at all…” She said if the app had restrictions to it, it could be more successful for children than Facebook and/or Instagram.

People are also concerned about privacy, and if this app will be able to protect the information of these young people. Facebook has been caught up in cases concerning privacy in the past.

Most people are in agreement that an app catered towards younger kids is not the best idea. Some of them are already exposed to social media through Instagram and Facebook. It seems like maybe it’s one of those ideas that’s better on paper.