Instagram is seeing some controversy nowadays and that’s understandable. The application was made to be used as a platform for sharing photographs, both artistic and aesthetic. Don’t get me wrong, it still is used for that, but it can get weird pretty fast. Especially if you follow someone famous, and after that, it all becomes a slippery slope of following influencers after influencers. One can imagine what effect it could have on younger minds.
Reports earlier have revealed that Instagram is planning to launch a dedicated for kids under 13. The executives at Instagram said that they have “identified youth work as a priority” for the photo-sharing application. This has sparked a lot of debate given that Instagram is now owned by Facebook and Facebook is known for its privacy issues and issues regarding profiting off data selling.
Instagram has been criticized for promoting and fostering anxiety and depression among the younger audience. The population growing up during the peak of these social media websites don’t really understand what they are sharing nor the effects of how much they share. The term ‘Influencers’ comes into play, telling the young minds what they should wear and how they should look. This may cause feelings of jealousy and depression to arise within kids who have yet to get ‘Internet maturity’.
One could only imagine how more harmful it would be for kids under 13. An even earlier exposure for children who are more likely to believe what they see and hear. Their sense of beauty and aesthetics would have high chances of becoming twisted, to say the least. Bill Johnson, A republican from Ohio raised concerns that “Big tech is essentially handing our children a lit cigarette and hoping they stay addicted for life”.
Instagram has assured people that the new platform would be supervised by parents and it is likely that certain content will be filtered out. But as fellow users of social media, we all know pretty well how content slips through the cracks with no regard to the number of checks or safeties in place.
Only time will tell how all of this plays out.