Forty per cent of children under 13 use Instagram, and some are experiencing abuse and sexual solicitation, a report finds. But Facebook wants an app to attract more to the platform and considers building an Instagram app for kids.
45% of kids under the age of 13 use Facebook, and 40% in that age group use Instagram, a new report from the nonprofit group Thorn suggests.
At the same time, 26% of kids surveyed in that age group say they have encountered potentially harmful experiences on Instagram, including sexual solicitation. As well as Snapchat, Instagram saw the highest concentration of sexually explicit interactions between minors and adults, per Thorn.
Thorn surveyed 1,000 minors between the ages of 9 and 17 in 2020, suggesting Facebook and Instagram are absent of protections for kids in that age group.
Facebook had planned to build a version of “Instagram for kids” until 40 state attorneys generals wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to abandon his plan.
Children under the age of 13 were also active on Snapchat and Tiktok, and 78% of those surveyed were using YouTube on a daily basis. According to Thorn’s research, many kids between the ages of nine and 17 received abuse, harassment, and sexual solicitation from peers and adults on the platforms.