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Facebook Halts Creation of 'Instagram Kids'

The new program would create an Instagram experience specifically for kids under the age of 13. 

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Amid criticism of its handling of research on the effects of Instagram on children, Facebook is “pausing” the creation of “Instagram Kids.” The new program would create an Instagram experience specifically for kids under the age of 13. 

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“We started this project to address an important problem seen across our industry: kids are getting phones younger and younger, misrepresenting their age, and downloading apps that are meant for those 13 or older,” wrote Instagram head Adam Mosseri in a Monday statement. “We firmly believe that it’s better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them — where parents can supervise and control their experience — than relying on an app’s ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID.”

He wrote that the company still believes in the need for “this experience,” but will pause it “to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today.”

The pause comes after the company faced sharp criticism for a Wall Street Journal report that revealed Facebook’s internal research found Instagram was harmful to teens, but did nothing. Facebook has insisted that categorization is “just plain false.”