Facebook reaffirms intention to build an Instagram for under 13s

Facebook reafirma intenção de construir um Instagram para menores de 13 anos

Instagram for under 13s is intended to be a new experience for children and will be run largely by parents and guardians of minors. Facebook defends this creation as a way to "reduce the incentive for people under 13 to lie about their age.

The reality is that they are already online and there is no foolproof way to stop people from lying about their age. We want to build experiences designed specifically for them, managed by parents and guardians," reads the official communication posted on Facebook's blog.

Rumors about this network for minors surfaced in March and in May 44 U.S. attorneys general signed a joint letter to Zuckerberg asking him to abandon these plans, citing privacy and mental health issues.

The company went ahead with Instagram Youth (name still to be confirmed) and reinforced that the intention was precisely to include more tools and safety features to protect this segment of the population, namely with the default setting that accounts of under-16s could not have interactions with strangers and would be subject to specific advertising campaigns, reports CNN.

The group intends to employ Artificial Intelligence algorithms to verify the age of users and remove those of minors. An example of using the tool is when someone congratulates another person, the tool can cross-reference the data to validate that the age that is recorded is the real one. "We want to apply this technology in all our apps, create age-appropriate experiences and implement safety measures for the young ones," the blog continues.

Josh Golin, director at children's advocacy group Fairplay, feels that "Facebook being offering better safety defenses for teens, however, doesn't change the fact that Instagram Youth is a terrible idea and that it will do more harm than good. The safest Instagram for little ones is no Instagram at all."

"It leaked before we were ready to talk about it, so for now, we don't have a lot of answers, but it's definitely something we're working on because I personally think it's something that's going to lead to a much safer place," Adam Mosseri, Instagram's CEO, assumed.

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