Saturday, October 23, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

AGs Urge Zuckerberg to Halt Plans for Kids' Instagram

Play

Friday, May 14, 2021   

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee's attorney general is part of a group that wants Facebook to stop its plans to create a kids' version of Instagram.

The group contends using social media can be detrimental to children's health and well-being, and that kids aren't equipped to navigate the challenges.

Tennessee AG Herbert Slatery signed the letter, along with more than 40 other state attorneys general.

Facebook has said it wouldn't show ads on the Instagram platform for kids under 13, but Tennessee Chief Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said ads or no ads, the platform will be designed to acclimate kids to social media at a time when they're psychologically vulnerable.

"And so, they're creating consumers," said Skrmetti. "And they're creating consumers who don't recognize they're going to potentially be commodified by these companies going forward."

Earlier this year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg confirmed plans for an Instagram for kids during a congressional hearing on misinformation.

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said the company wants to deliver experiences for kids that give parents visibility and control over what their children are doing.

Skrmetti said he sees the possibility of litigation down the road related to this issue, and points to Facebook's record of failing to protect kids' safety and privacy on its platform.

"I think the goal is to avoid the need for litigation by appealing to the better angels of Facebook's nature," said Skrmetti, "and hoping that they recognize there's severe harm that could happen if they start targeting children with their product."

Reports from 2019 showed Facebook's Messenger Kids app, intended for kids between ages six and 12, contained a major design flaw that allowed children to join group chats with strangers not approved by their parents.

"There are a lot of benefits that come with technology, but there are a lot of risks involved," said Skrmetti, "and those risks are magnified for children. And we're going to do everything we can to use the law to protect children. But parents need to be aware of what's going on."

A report for the National Council for Missing and Exploited Children found in 2020, more than 20 million images related to child abuse had been shared on Facebook and Instagram.


get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Gov. Tom Wolf already has increased the minimum wage for state employees and contractors, which is set to reach $15 an hour by July 2024. (Gov. Tom Wolf/Flickr)

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

Social Issues

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Mike Parson is facing calls to get the Missouri Cybersecurity Commission off the ground after it was created by the …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021