44 state attorneys general signed a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg urging him to abandon plans to create an Instagram just for kids. The corrosive mental-health maze of social media remaking children in its quantified, privacy-dissolving, self-objectifying image? Not so great an idea.
"Use of social media can be detrimental to the health and well-being of children, who are not equipped to navigate the challenges of having a social media account," the latest letter said. "Further, Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms. The attorneys general have an interest in protecting our youngest citizens, and Facebook's plans to create a platform where kids under the age of 13 are encouraged to share content online is contrary to that interest."
Facebook's position—offered though a spokesperson that CNN Business gave anonymity— is that kids are online anyway, so you may as well give them to Facebook.
"As every parent knows, kids are already online. We want to improve this situation by delivering experiences that give parents visibility and control over what their kids are doing," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business. "We are developing these experiences in consultation with experts in child development, child safety and mental health, and privacy advocates. We also look forward to working with legislators and regulators, including the nation's attorneys general."