Kids will be bullied if not on app: Instagram
INSTAGRAM is guilt-tripping parents into letting children younger than 13 have their own accounts by claiming they will be bullied if they are not on the app.
The social media giant also argues that having a public account is “part of the fun”.
It has come under fire from cyber safety experts over its “parents’ guide to Instagram”, which claims that kids who don’t have Instagram can “risk social marginalisation”.
The guide says kids can “learn to manage” risks such as cyberbullying or having predators reach out to them.
The guide, to inform parents about how to use the app safely, also says while Instagram has a minimum age of 13, it “doesn’t ask users to specify their age, and there are many younger children who use” it.
“Whether Instagram is ‘safe’ depends more on how it’s used than on the age of the user,” the guide states. “Even if a parent bans all social media, his or her child’s photo and other information can be posted by friends via their accounts.
“And there’s a risk of social marginalisation for kids who are not allowed to socialise in this way that’s now so embedded in their social lives.”
Best Enemies director Ross Bark, who runs cyber safety courses in schools, said it was “ridiculous” to suggest children were going to experience “social marginalisation” purely for not being on the app.
He said anyone under 18 on the app should have a private account and children under 13 “should definitely not” be on Instagram.
“Social marginalisation sounds like a term that has come out of a marketing manager’s mouth … it sounds like a young person will be on the fringes of society if they are not on Instagram, which is a silly suggestion,” Mr Bark said.
PARENTAL PRESSURE: Instagram is guilt-tripping parents into allowing children under 13 to have their own accounts.