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Facebook to pause development of Instagram for kids

The social media giant has halted development plans on a kid-centric version of Instagram following backlash for unfinished business relating to the mainline Instagram's safety.

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In the face of growing criticism from users and legislators, Facebook has temporarily halted development on its upcoming Instagram Kids social media platform. 

The news came following a massive online backlash against the social media giant following revelations in a recent Wall Street Journal report finding that Facebook's own internal documents confirmed the company knew how harmful Instagram has been for adolescent and teenage users. One internal Facebook presentation stated that among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, thirteen percent of British users and six percent of American users traced the problems to Instagram.

“While we believe building ‘Instagram Kids’ is the right thing to do, Instagram, and its parent company Facebook will re-evaluate the project at a later date. In the interim Instagram will continue to focus on teen safety and expanding parental supervision features for teens,” the company said in a statement.

Facebook spent part of its weekend defending its desire to increase the number of kids using its apps via a blog post. “Critics of ‘Instagram Kids’ will see this as an acknowledgment that the project is a bad idea. That’s not the case. The reality is that kids are already online, and we believe that developing age-appropriate experiences designed specifically for them is far better for parents than where we are today,” the blog explains.

Following the decision to pause its work, Facebook says it will address concerns with parents, experts, policymakers, and regulators. It also promised to work on expanding its parental controls to teen accounts.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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