New York Attorney General Letitia James, along with 44 attorneys general, sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him to abandon plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13.
The coalition contends that social media can be detrimental to children for myriad reasons and that Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms. The letter cites cyberbullying, online predators targeting children and social media being harmful to the mental health of children.
The coalition of attorneys general argue that young children are not equipped to handle the many challenges that come with having an Instagram account, including that they often lack a developed understanding of privacy.
There is also a risk that predators may exploit children online and cloak their identities using the anonymity of the internet. One report found an increase of 200% 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.