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Ohio AG Dave Yost attempting to stop launch of children's version of Instagram

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Posted at 3:22 PM, May 10, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has joined 43 other state attorneys general in sending a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding that the company, which owns Instagram, abandons plans to launch a version of the app that is intended for children under the age of 13.

The letter addresses concerns about children's safety and well-being with targeted access to social media.

“Facebook and Instagram already have too much control over what we see, hear and buy – and when you add in the dangers of online predators and cyberbullying, it’s unsafe for children,” Yost said. “Until Mr. Zuckerberg can prove that he’s doing more to police these platforms, he needs to stay away from our kids.”

Yost cited concerns over mental distress such as depression and body-image issues that social media platforms could cause, as well as the risk of predators using the app to exploit children online.

"It appears that Facebook is not responding to a need, but instead creating one, as this platform appeals primarily to children who otherwise do not or would not have an Instagram account. In short, an Instagram platform for young children is harmful for myriad reasons. The attorneys general urge Facebook to abandon its plans to launch this new platform," the letter reads.

To read the letter in full, click here.