Tell Facebook to abandon its plans to target young children on Instagram

The petition to Facebook reads:

"Don’t create a version of Instagram for kids under 13."

Internal Facebook research documents revealed by whistleblower Frances Haugen show that Facebook knew its Instagram platform was “toxic” for teenage girls when it made plans to develop a version of Instagram for even younger kids.

Now, thanks to Haugen’s revelations and an outpouring of grassroots activism, Facebook has “paused” its plans to build a version of Instagram specifically for young, impressionable children under age 13.

But pausing Instagram Kids isn’t good enough. It needs to be cancelled outright. Sign the petition demanding that Facebook listen to the experts and abandon its plans to target young children on Instagram.

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, and the algorithms designed to keep us staring at our screens much longer than we intended. But while adults may be able to handle these very real issues, children under the age of 13 most certainly cannot.

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. And the long periods of time spent on the platform displace activities crucial to children’s healthy development.

Children deserve a childhood free from the grips of social media platforms like Instagram. Sign the petition and urge Facebook to scrap its plans to build an Instagram platform for kids.