AG Camacho urges Facebook to abandon launch of kids-only Instagram

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Citing serious concerns about the safety and well-being of children and the harm social media poses to young people, Attorney General Leevin Taitano Camacho has joined a
coalition of 44 attorneys general urging Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13.

In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the coalition contends that social media can be detrimental to children for a myriad of reasons and that Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms.

“The proposed creation of Instagram for kids raises serious questions about privacy and protection from predators,” said Attorney General Camacho.

In their letter, the attorneys general express various concerns, beginning with research indicating that social media can be harmful to the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children; rapidly worsening concerns about cyberbullying on Instagram; use of the platform by predators to target children; Facebook’s checkered record in protecting the welfare of children on its platforms; and children’s lack of capacity to navigate the complexities of what they encounter online, including advertising, inappropriate content and relationships with strangers.

The attorneys general also cast doubt on Facebook’s ability to protect children on their proposed Instagram platform and comply with relevant privacy laws such as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Co-leading today’s letter are the attorneys general of Massachusetts, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Vermont, and the letter is joined by the attorneys general of Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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