Creating a social media account is so easy nowadays that just about anyone could create an account….except for kids under the sage of 13.
According to a report by Buzzfeed, an internal communication company has revealed that Instagram are currently working on a kids version of Instagram. This version of the popular social media platform allows people under the age of 13 to sign up and safely use Instagram.
There are concerns for parents who are weary of the potential dangers surrounding not just social media, but the online world in general. As a result, Instagram does not allow those who are under 13 to create an account. However, there are social media platforms available for kids, where they can network and socialise; some of these include:
These networks allow children to meet online safely and interact through chatrooms and forums. There are also measures which can be taken to report any inappropriate activity.
Although children under the age of 13 cannot create an account, this doesn’t mean that they can’t create an account with a fake identity.
In a bid to stop this from happening and potentially exposing themselves to more risk, Instagram Chief, Adam Mosseri, believes that creating a separate account for kids could be the solution.
“We have to do a lot here, but part of the solution is to create a version of Instagram for young people or kids where parents have transparency or control. It’s one of the things we’re exploring.”
Although this project has not been made official, Mosseri has confirmed they are exploring the possibility.
In the meantime, there are various parental controls across devices and streaming platforms which parents can use to protect their children from being exposed to harmful content.
If Instagram are to go ahead with this project, they will have to be very careful with their approach and ensure that profiles and accounts are protected. Could they introduce ID verification in order to protect children? Cyber-bullying has been a major concern over the last few years – how will they tackle that?
It will be interesting to see whether the kids version does end up being released in the future, and privacy advocates will surely be highlighting all the relevant concerns.