Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), an advocacy group, has reportedly urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to not create a version of photo-sharing app Instagram for children who are under 13, as it would put them at great risk.
According to news agency Reuters, the CCFC letter to the Facebook boss comes at a time when the social media major has been criticized for amplifying misinformation globally across its platforms, while also exposing children to inappropriate material.
CCFC said that Instagram exploits youngsters’ fear of missing out as they constantly check their devices seeking approval and uploading pictures. He said that the platform’s continuous focus on appearance and self presentation would be a challenge to adolescents’ privacy and wellbeing.
The letter said, “While collecting valuable family data and cultivating a new generation of Instagram users may be good for Facebook’s bottom line, it will likely increase the use of Instagram by young children who are particularly vulnerable to the platform’s manipulative and exploitative features.”
The advocacy group believes that child-targeted marketing, along with the excessive screen time it encourages, will damage kids’ healthy development, and is dedicated to ending marketing to children.