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Children’s Groups Push Back Against Instagram App In Development For Young Children




Russian child blogger Liza Anokhina (L), 12, participates in a shoot for her blog in a Moscow park on September 13, 2019.
Russian child blogger Liza Anokhina (L), 12, participates in a shoot for her blog in a Moscow park on September 13, 2019.
ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images

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Anyone that has spent time around young kids and cell phones probably knows how adept children are at using social media apps.

That’s part of the reason why executives at Instagram announced last month that they are developing a new version of the app for children under the age of 13. They say it will keep children safer from bullying and sexual predation. But a coalition of 35 children’s and consumer groups are pushing back on that idea, saying that 10- to 12- year olds will be unlikely to switch to the kid’s app, and it could hook even younger children into the more toxic aspects of Instagram’s culture. “While collecting valuable family data and cultivating a new generation of Instagram users may be good for Facebook’s bottom line,” the groups, led by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood in Boston, said in the letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “it will likely increase the use of Instagram by young children who are particularly vulnerable to the platform’s manipulative and exploitative features.”

Today on AirTalk, we’re learning more about the controversy around Instagram’s potential children’s app. Are you the parent of a young child? What are your thoughts? Give us a call at 866-893-5722 or comment below.

Guests:

Ryan Mac, senior technology reporter at Buzzfeed News; he tweets @RMac18

Yalda T. Uhls, adjunct professor of child psychology at UCLA and founder of The Center for Scholars & Storytellers, a think tank dedicated to bridging the gap between academia and the entertainment industry; she is also the author of "Media Moms & Digital Dads: A Fact-Not-Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age" (Routledge, 2015); she tweets @DrYaldaUhls