UltraViolet Applauds Bipartistan State Attorneys General Opposition to Instagram for Kids

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, May 11, 2021
CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro | anna@unbendablemedia.com

UltraViolet Applauds Bipartistan State Attorneys General Opposition to Instagram for Kids

Women’s Group Says Instagram for Kids Would Have Negative Impacts on All Young People, Especially BIPOC Girls and LGBTQ Kids

Group Calls on Kid-Focused Entertainment Outlets – Disney, Nickelodeon and Others – To Pledge Not to Use Instagram for Kids in Bid to Discourage Facebook From Moving Forward

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, The Washington Post reported that more than 40 state attorneys general are pressuring Facebook to drop its controversial plans to launch a version of Instagram for children younger than age of 13. In a letter to Facebook and Instagram CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the attorneys generals argued that social media can be detrimental to children’s physical and mental health warning that the social media giant would not be able to protect younger children online or adequately comply with existing federal children’s privacy law.

Bridget Todd, Communications Director for UltraViolet, applauding the bipartisan letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, explaining:

“Excessive use of digital devices and social media is harmful to adolescents.

“Even as full-grown adults, the problems with social media are brutally apparent and often hard to maneuver — the feelings of inadequacy, the overblown focus on consumerism, and the skewed self-image it creates. No one, but especially children under the age of 13 should not have to consider compromising their safety when engaging online.

“A growing body of research demonstrates that excessive use of digital devices and social media is harmful to adolescents. Instagram, in particular, exploits young people’s fear of missing out and desire for peer approval to encourage children and teens to constantly check their devices and share photos with their followers. The platform’s relentless focus on appearance, self-presentation, and branding presents challenges to adolescents’ privacy and wellbeing. For young BIPOC girls and LGBTQ kids these pressures are compounded by systemic racism, homophobia and transphobia. For the parents of kids, especially single parent households, Instagram for Kids would place additional pressures on parents to protect their children – parents who are often already stretched thin as is.

“All children deserve a childhood free from the grips of social media platforms like Instagram. Facebook should focus its energy on addressing the real harms that exist on its platform, not on creating new harms for young people.”

In addition to the more than 30,000 people that signed onto a petition from UltraViolet and our partners urging Facebook to scrap its plans for Instagram for kids, UltraViolet is urging major kid-focused entertainment companies to pledge not to use the new platform. Todd added:

“It is on all of us to protect our children. Major companies like Disney and Nickelodeon can help make sure that Facebook abandons its plans for Instagram for kids by loudly declaring they will not use the platform. Together, we can keep our kids safe online.”

VIEW ULTRAVIOLET’S PETITION HERE: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/tell-facebook-to-abandon-its-plans-to-target-young-children-on-instagram?source=direct_link&referrer=group-ultraviolet

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