Experts ask Facebook to get rid of its Messenger Kids app

Facebook Messenger Kids was launched in the US last month

Child advocates are urging Mark Zuckerberg to abort Messenger Kids, Facebook's messaging app designed for children younger than the 13-year-old minimum age the company requires for its other products.

More than 110 doctors, educators and child health advocates have signed an open letter led by the US-based Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood that warns Zuckerberg of the danger that social media can pose for young people, The Guardian reports.

Despite its attempts to quell parents' and health professionals' concerns about kids online, Facebook continues to face heavy backlash to its Messenger Kids network.

The coalition is asking Facebook to shutter the app rather than improve it because there's no need for children under age 12 to be on social media.

Experts are concerned about the effects that smartphones and social media apps have on people's physical and mental health. The company claims it provides a "safe" way for kids to chat online.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is once again under fire from consumer watchdog groups, this time over its Messenger Kids app.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Slashing iPhone X Production Amid Weak Demand
Kuo's analysis seems to be heavily based on Apple's rollout of the iPhone 8 , 8 Plus and X in 2017. Both iPhone X models will have 4GB of RAM while the 6.1-inch iPhone will feature a 3GB of RAM.

In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, 19 groups - including the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, ACLU of MA, and Parents Across America - called the company's move to launch the app "irresponsible", especially in light of research indicating that excessive use of social media is detrimental to children and teens.

The letter is signed by a range of child welfare groups, chief among them the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Parents must set up a child's Messenger Kids account and approve with whom they can communicate (parents must be friends on Facebook to do so). To get there, click on "More" on the bottom right corner in your main Facebook app, and click "Messenger Kids" in the Explore section.

Twenge, whose work was also cited in the public letter to Apple, says it's a good first step that Messenger Kids doesn't have ads and that parents can limit their kid's list.

"At a time when there is mounting concern about how social media use affects adolescents' wellbeing, it is particularly irresponsible to encourage children as young as preschoolers to start using a Facebook product". Its aim is to introduce chat and video features to a younger group of users and give parents the ability to monitor who their kids interact with online. The letter explains pre-teens are "simply not ready" for social media.

In case you don't follow Facebook closely, then you're probably not aware of the company's "Hard Questions" - here's a handy link.

In response, Facebook's global head of safety, Antigone Davis, said in a statement to the Washington Post, "We worked to create Messenger Kids with an advisory committee of parenting and developmental experts, as well as with families themselves and in partnership with National PTA". The company has also said there are systems to detect certain kinds of abusive content to keep it off the app, and both kids and parents can report inappropriate content and block s. When the kids version launched, Marcus told TechCrunch that Facebook hired a special team to build creative tools for kids, like fidget spinner and dinosaur augmented reality masks, as well as crayon-style stickers. "Call them on FaceTime", Twenge says.

Related News:



Most liked

Over 700000 rouge apps removed from Google Play Store in 2017
Elsewhere, Google reduced the rate of potentially harmful application (PHA) installations by a factor of 10 compared to 2016. It means that the Google Play Protect scanning is improving, able to detect and catch more abusive apps.

Clinton: given second chance, I would fire aide accused of sexual harassment
The real outrage, this person said, is that Strider was rehired at Correct the Record , which was run by Clinton allies. He served a pastoral-like role, praying with her and for her.

Wynn Resorts probes sexual misconduct claims against boss
Governor Charlie Baker called the charges and allegations against Steve Wynn "distressing and appalling". The Republican National Committee convenes this week in Washington for its annual winter meeting.

Magic Johnson Calls For Firings Amid Michigan State Sexual Assault Scandal
Former sports doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced to 175 years in state prison, but he likely won't serve his time in MI . "If we have learned anything from the Nassar sentencing, too many voices of too many victims were unheard".

NY exploring ways to part with Joakim Noah
Noah had played just 96 total games over the previous two seasons, with his productivity and athleticism declining along the way. He missed New York's next two games - the loss to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday and the win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

Afghan troops die in IS attack on Kabul military academy
President Donald Trump condemned the "murderous attack," adding the tragic event "renews our resolve" to support Afghanistan. The blast comes a week after militants stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul .

Our "Blue Moon" will be big and red. Here's why
Global map showing areas of the world that will experience (weather permitting) the January 31, 2018 " super blue blood moon ". And unlike a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse is perfectly safe to watch in the night with the naked eye.

Complete shutdown observed in IOK against Killing of two youth
Rising Kashmir has learnt that he has informed DC Shopian Mohammad Aijaz Khan to ascertain the facts about the death of the youth. Two boys, Javed Ahmed Bhat and Suhail Javed Lone were killed by the Army when their convey was pelted with stones on Saturday.

NK likely to hold 'intimidating' military parade on February 8: Seoul minister
But the exercises are due to resume after the 2018 Winter Olympics, according to reports. The United States may be making it clear to North Korea its tactics are not working.

Wenger exploring ways to include Mkhitaryan in Arsenal's starting XI
The Daily Mirror report the defender has said his goodbyes and a £57 million deal could be completed within the next 24 hours.

5 dead after militants attack military base in Kabul
He further added, "Two security force members were also killed and 10 others were wounded". The Afghan security forces have cordoned off the area as the attack is ongoing.

Raul Johnson Gonzalez missing: Federal Bureau of Investigation joins search for boy who vanished barefoot
The Amber Alert issued for Raul said the boy was last seen on Village Drive, walking toward Crestline Road in Laurinburg. Kersey said he wanted to drain the pond after a search by a dive team came up empty Thursday.

DeMarcus Cousins OUT for the season: Pelicans star suffers injury against Rockets
Cousins will undergo an MRI to confirm the diagnosis, but reports say that the organization believes the diagnosis is clear. While New Orleans will take the win, all eyes will be on the training room as the extent of Cousins' leg injury is assessed.

Michigan State President Stepping Down Due To Larry Nassar Case
Nassar "did not have a medical license in Texas, which is where we went to the ranch and trained", Raisman said on the show. She also opened up about how she's dealing with the judge's decision to sentence Nassar to up to 175 years in prison .

SpaceX will reportedly launch its Falcon Heavy rocket on February 6th
And it has some symbolism since the Roadster is considered by many EV enthusiasts as the vehicle that launched the EV revolution. NASASpaceFlight reports SpaceX is preparing for a possible launch on February 6, with a backup date of February 7.