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AG Nessel Releases Statement on Paused Instagram Kids Development

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the following statement in response to news that Instagram paused plans related to developing "Instagram Kids" for users under 13:

"While this is a step in the right direction, it falls short of acknowledging the detrimental effect a kid-specific version of the platform will have on those who primarily haven't yet been exposed to social media. It's especially concerning that this pause was the sole update announced following the release of concerning data that quantifies that effect, which has been at the company's fingertips throughout the development process.

"Mr. Mosseri, in his statement, suggests providing a kids-only Instagram will address problems because 'kids are already online'. That's demonstrably false. Launching Instagram Kids will only pose threats to security and overall wellbeing while further profiting from society's obsession with social media."

In May, Nessel joined a coalition of 44 attorneys general urging Facebook to abandon its plans to launch the under-13-years-old version of Instagram.

Facebook has not responded directly to the coalition as of Friday morning.

Protecting kids online was the sole focus of a U.S. Senate hearing Thursday. The hearing followed concerning findings from the Wall Street Journal related to what Facebook knows about how Instagram affects young users, including data from the company's own research that showed among "teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram...."

The hearing lasted about three hours. Federal lawmakers grilled the Global Head of Safety at Facebook about its internal data.

You can watch the recording on the hearing's webpage.