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Tags: facebook | tech | youth | socialmedia | targeting

Facebook Hiring Developers to Target Kids as Young as 6

facebook on a screen
(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 01 November 2021 07:35 PM

Facebook has been hiring tech developers to make social media products to target children as young as 6 years old, drawing criticism, NBC News reported.

''Facebook and Instagram have repeatedly shown that they simply can't be trusted when it comes to the well-being of children and teens,'' Common Sense Media CEO James Steyer told NBC News. ''They need to focus on cleaning up their existing platforms instead of trying to hook more children to their addictive platforms at younger and younger ages.''

The reports of their hiring developers to target young children for their social media sites comes from internal blog posts, according to the report.

''Our company is making a major investment in youth and has spun up a cross-company virtual team to make safer, more private, experiences for youth that improve their and their household's well-being,'' the blog read, NBC reported. ''For many of our products, we historically haven't designed for under 13.''

Diagrams on the blog noted the social media site's products would target kids 6 to 9 years old, tweens 10 to 12, early teens 13 to 15, 16- and 17-year-olds, and adults.

''These five age groups can be used to define education, transparency, controls, and defaults that will meet the needs of young users,'' the blog read.

Facebook had issued a statement to The Wall Street Journal when asked about its targeting young audiences for their platforms.

''Companies that operate in a highly competitive space — including The Wall Street Journal — make efforts to appeal to younger generations,'' Facebook wrote in a statement to the Journal. ''Considering that our competitors are doing the same thing, it would actually be newsworthy if Facebook didn't do this work.''

Instagram, a Facebook-owned entity, announced in September it would pause development of its photo-sharing app for children.

''I still firmly believe that it's a good thing to build a version of Instagram that's designed to be safe for tweens, but we want to take the time to talk to parents and researchers and safety experts and get to more consensus about how to move forward,'' Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram,  told NBC's ''Today'' show.

For now, Facebook spokesperson Nkechi Nneji said the positions will focus on older teens and adults.

''While we're still hiring these roles, they'll largely focus on new features we're building for teens (13-17) and parents,'' Nneji told NBC News.

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Facebook has been hiring tech developers to make social media products to target children as young as 6 years old, drawing criticism, NBC News reported.
facebook, tech, youth, socialmedia, targeting
394
2021-35-01
Monday, 01 November 2021 07:35 PM
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