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Utah AG asks Facebook to halt 'Instagram Kids'

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Posted at 9:50 AM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 11:54:39-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is joining 44 other states in asking Facebook to abandon creation of "Instagram Kids," an app specifically designed for children under 13.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes signed on to a letter with other states' attorneys general that was sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook, which owns Instagram, has been developing the new platform.

The coalition of attorneys general argue in the letter that Facebook has historically failed to protect children on its platforms.

"Unfortunately, social media has evolved from a fun way to connect to a minefield of potential dangers, especially to children," Reyes said in a statement on Tuesday. "We already know that social media is a venue for child predators, bullying, and scams. I’m concerned that whatever safeguards Facebook will put in place simply aren’t enough to compensate for the negative online behavior that may be lurking."

The attorneys general also argue that children are not equipped to best handle concerns about privacy, bullying and predators who cloak their identities online.

Utah joined Massachusetts, Nebraska, Tennessee, Vermont, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming in sending the letter.