News

Parents Want Changes to Instagram Policies

InstagramWith more than 100 million users, Facebook-owned Instagram is one of the Web’s most popular photo-sharing applications. However, the large number of teenagers and preteens using the app has some parents alarmed, with a recent petition on Change.org requesting changes to Instragram privacy settings collecting nearly 5,000 signatures.

At the heart of the petitioners’ grievances are the default settings for Instragram users, which are not only automatically public — which means user photos can wind up on search engine image searches — but also “geotagged,” meaning that information about the photo-taker’s location can be easily identified by others.

For Instagram users between the ages of 13 and 17, petitioners are urging Facebook to automatically set photographs as private and deactivate geolocation features.

While Facebook policies do not allow children younger than 13 to use the Instagram application, many pre-teens have managed to skirt the company’s age-restricted policies; in 2011, Consumer Reports estimated the number of Facebook users under the age of 12 at some 7 million.

On July 1, federal child privacy law revisions will require social networks such as Facebook to obtain parental consent before collecting individual data from users under the age of 18 — information that includes email addresses, uploaded videos or photographs.

While many advocates of social media registration changes cite youth safety as their utmost concern, some public interests groups believe mediums like Instagram are also havens for entirely different kinds of predators — child-targeting advertisers.

“Facebook is not doing enough to ensure children under 13 don’t have access to the site,” Center for Digital Democracy Digital Food Marketing and Youth Initiative Project Director Joy Spencer is quoted by The Washington Post. “That raises a number of concerns about safety and because Instagram then is able to collect personally identifiable information on children, which can be used to target ads toward them in the future.”

Photo courtesy of Karl Nisson / Flickr 

 

Comments

Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.

DONORS & DONOR TRANSPARENCY

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments

Categories

Archives

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top