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Wisconsin Attorney General urges Facebook to abandon plans of Instagram for children

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul joined 39 of his peers in urging Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to abandon plans to create a version of Instagram aimed at children under the age of 13.

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The letter, dated Monday, was signed by attorneys general from 40 states.

"Use of social media can be detrimental to the health and well-being of children, who are not equipped to navigate the challenges of having a social media account," the letter reads. "Further, Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms."

The attorneys general argue that the platform would afford opportunities for increased cyberbullying, possible vulnerability to online predators and what they called Facebook’s “checkered record” in protecting children.

"Launching a version of Instagram for children under 13 would make it more difficult to protect kids from the detrimental effects of social media," Kaul said in a written statement. "Facebook needs to reconsider—and drop—this plan."

Instagram's policies currently requires that users be at least 13-years-old before joining the platform.

The existence of an Instagram for kids was first reported by Buzzfeed News in March.

The letter from the state attorneys general followed on the heels of a similar missive from four Democratic members of Congress last month.

In the note, the congressional leaders also urged Facebook to shelve the project for fear that harm would come to children. None of the signatories of that letter were from Wisconsin.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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JT Cestkowski

Social Media and Digital Content Manager

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