BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has joined a bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys general requesting Facebook to drop its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13.
Citing safety concerns and cyberbullying, AG Landry and his colleagues sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressing a myriad of concerns regarding the launch of the kid-targeted social media platform.
“While the Internet can be a great resource for learning and fun, cyberspace can also be a dangerous place for Louisiana’s kids. From oversharing to cyberbullying, children on social media – with just a couple of clicks – can find themselves in embarrassing situations and dangerous predicaments,” said Attorney General Landry.
“Data and research are clear: there is a link between young people’s use of social media and an increase in mental distress, self-injurious behavior, and suicidality.
“For the physical, emotional, and mental safety and well-being of Louisiana’s children – I urge Facebook to scrap their plans for Instagram Kids.”
The potential for exploitation is another concern for the coalition. A media release from AG Landry’s office claims one report found an increase of 200 percent 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.