In Today's Issue: Bipartisan Pressure on Facebook to Abandon Instagram for Kids

The following story appeared in the [post_published] issue of The Daily Juice. The text is from the 9th-10th grade version. To access the other grade levels, interactive vocabulary (words in bold), quiz questions, and more, sign up for The Juice.

Facebook’s plans to launch an Instagram service for kids under the age of 13 has hit a major roadblock. Attorneys general for 44 states and territories urged the social media network to cancel its plans. The bipartisan prosecutors cited concerns about social media’s effects on kids.  

Currently, Facebook does not allow children who are under 13 to join its apps, but the company has admitted that many kids join anyway by lying about their age.

In their letter, the attorneys general warned that studies show social media promotes a preoccupation with personal appearance and social status, while also contributing to online bullying and lower self-esteem. “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,” they wrote.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has argued that with supervision social media can help young people stay connected with friends. The company has said the Instagram version for kids would not have any ads.

The letter follows a House hearing in March where federal lawmakers expressed concern about social media’s impact on kids and Facebook’s ability to protect their privacy. Protecting kids online is a rare issue Democrats and Republicans agree on.

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US Politics (Grades 11-12)

Biden Executive Orders Will Reverse Trump Policies

President-elect Joe Biden plans to sign a flurry of executive orders soon after his inauguration tomorrow. He plans to address what he’s calling the four crises facing the country. They are COVID-19, the economic downturn, racial injustice, and climate change.

An executive order is a written directive from the president carrying powers similar to a federal law. Presidents have historically used these orders to push policies forward quickly because they do not require approval from Congress. The downside of executive orders is that they are easily overturned by any new president. That is not true for federal laws.

Among other moves overturning Trump administration policies, Biden’s orders will return the US to the Paris Climate Accord and to the Iran nuclear deal.

Related to the pandemic, Biden will require face masks on federal properties and during interstate travel. Other orders will be aimed at safely reopening schools and businesses.

On immigration, Biden will order agencies to determine how to reunite children separated from their families after crossing the US-Mexico border. Another order will end travel restrictions targeting majority-Muslim countries.

Other orders will address “equity and support communities of color,” criminal justice reform, and access to healthcare.

Photo from Reuters.

Bold words are interactive vocab words in The Juice.

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