Washington (September 27, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Representative Kathy Castor (FL-14), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Representative Lori Trahan (MA-03) today released the following statement after Facebook announced its intention to “pause” its plans to develop Instagram for Kids.
“We are pleased that Facebook has heeded our calls to stop plowing ahead with its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children. A ‘pause’ is insufficient, however. Facebook has completely forfeited the benefit of the doubt when it comes to protecting young people online and it must completely abandon this project,” said the lawmakers in a joint statement. “Time and time again, Facebook has demonstrated the failures of self-regulation, and we know that Congress must step in. That’s why we will be re-introducing the Kids Internet Design and Safety (KIDS) Act, which will give young internet users the protections they need to navigate today’s online ecosystem without sacrificing their wellbeing. We urge our colleagues to join us in this effort and pass this critical legislation.”     
In April, Senators Markey and Blumenthal and Representatives Castor and Trahan wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding Facebook’s announcement that the company was “exploring” plans to develop a version of Instagram for children and expressed concerns about Facebook’s past failures to protect children on Facebook’s Messenger Kids app. In May, after the company failed to make meaningful commitments to protect kids online, the lawmakers released a statement calling on Facebook to abandon its plans for the children’s platform. Previously, Senator Markey has repeatedly pressed Facebook on its failures to protect children and teens, including during Zuckerberg’s 2018 appearance before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.