By Bernadette Lee, KPEL

The safety of children is what is prompting forty-four attorneys general, along with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, to urge the owner of Facebook not to go ahead with plans for an Instagram for kids under thirteen.

AG Landry has said, via press release, that he has serious concerns about all of the complicated issues that young people have to face with social media. He says these complexities are why he has agreed with other attorney generals to sign a letter to Mark Zuckerberg to abandon plans for this new social media platform.

The following is a list of concerns that the attorneys general have when it comes to this new platform for kids under thirteen:

  • Predators possibly using the platform to target children
  • Research that social media can be harmful to children
  • Cyberbullying concerns
  • They have concerns over Facebook’s “checkered record” in protecting kids on their platforms
  • Children having to navigate inappropriate content
  • Contact with strangers

AG Landry says,

“While the internet can be a great resource for learning and fun, cyberspace can also be a dangerous place for Louisiana’s kids. From oversharing to cyberbullying, children on social media-with just a couple of clicks-can find themselves in embarrassing situations and dangerous predicaments.”

He adds that research shows that there are links between social media and the following:

  • Self-injurious behavior
  • Suicide
  • Mental distress

He’s hoping Zuckerberg will dump his plans for Instagram Kids. According to information from the AG’s office:

“One report found an increase of 200 percent in recorded instances in the use of Instagram to target and abuse children over a six-month period in 2018. In 2020 alone, Facebook and Instagram reported 20 million child sexual abuse images.”

This article was originally published by KPEL965.

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