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AG Ford urges Facebook to drop Instagram platform for children

This Friday, Aug. 23, 2019 photo shows the Instagram app icon on the screen of a mobile device...
This Friday, Aug. 23, 2019 photo shows the Instagram app icon on the screen of a mobile device in New York. Facebook says it is working on a version of its Instagram app for kids under 13, who are technically not allowed to use the app in its current form due to federal privacy regulations. The company confirmed an earlier report by Buzzfeed News on Friday, March 19, 2021 saying it is “exploring a parent-controlled experience" on Instagram. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)(Jenny Kane | AP)
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 12:31 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford is urging Facebook not to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13, citing concerns about the safety and well-being of children.

“While social media can be fun and entertaining, it can also pose many risks, especially to young children who do not recognize those risks or understand how to protect themselves,” said AG Ford. “Parents, my office is looking out for you. Have conversations with your children and youth about posting personal information on social media. Talk about the risks of associating with people they don’t know. While we continue to protect our children and youth, it’s critical for you to continue to have these conversations with your family.”

AG Ford joined a coalition of 44 attorneys general in a letter addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressing concerns over Facebook launching the platform, accusing Facebook of historically failing to protect the privacy of children on its platforms. The attorneys general cite Facebook’s Messenger Kids app and allege that a glitch allowed children to get around restrictions and join group chats with strangers.

Facebook released a statement Monday saying they plan to make every effort to protect children, and will not show advertising on the platform.

“We are developing these experiences in consultation with experts in child development, child safety and mental health, and privacy advocates,” the company said. “We also look forward to working with legislators and regulators, including the nation’s attorneys general.”

Read the letter sent to Facebook below:

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