Instagram has hit pause on a new app it is creating for kids, the photo-sharing service owned by Facebook Inc, in a move amid growing opposition for the project.
Instagram Kids had been touted as requiring parental permission to join and was supposed to provide ad-free, age-appropriate content. Still, U.S. lawmakers and advocacy groups have urged the social media giant to drop its launch plans, citing safety concerns.
"We won't stop pressuring Facebook until they permanently pull the plug," said Josh Golin, executive director of Fairplay, an advocacy group focused on kids.
Instagram said in a blog post that building Instagram Kids was the right thing to do, but that it was pausing the work and would continue building on its parental supervision tools.
"Facebook has completely forfeited the benefit of the doubt when it comes to protecting young people online, and it must completely abandon this project," said the lawmakers, who also include U.S. Representatives Kathy Castor and Lori Trahan.
In 2017, Facebook launched the standalone Messenger Kids app, an instant messaging platform for children under the age of 13, controlled by a parent's Facebook account.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal published a report that focused on data suggesting that Instagram harmed teenagers, particularly teen girls and that Facebook had made minimal efforts to address the issue.
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