Tags: facebook | messenger kids app | campaign for a commercial-free childhood

Facebook Presses On With Messenger Kids App Despite Criticism

Facebook Presses On With Messenger Kids App Despite Criticism
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By    |   Friday, 16 February 2018 06:26 PM

Facebook is pressing forward with its messaging app for kids despite criticism from child experts and those who question Facebook's financial support of advisers who okayed the app.

According to the Associated Press, Messenger Kids lets kids under 13 chat with friends and family, has no ads and lets parents approve who they're messaging — but has critics outraged about how it lures children into harmful social media use and hooks them into Facebook's competition with rival Snapchat and Instagram apps.

"It is disturbing that Facebook, in the face of widespread concern, is aggressively marketing Messenger Kids to even more children," the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said in a statement, the AP reported.

Messenger Kids launched on iOS in December, arrived on Amazon devices in January and on Android Wednesday, AP reported.

Facebook lauds its team of advisers, academics and families who helped shape the app. But a report in Wired pointed out that more than half of this safety advisory board had financial ties to the company.

"We sometimes provide funding to cover programmatic or logistics expenses, to make sure our work together can have the most impact," Facebook said in a statement, AP reported.

Still, Facebook didn't invite prominent critics, such as the nonprofit Common Sense Media, to advise it on Messenger Kids until the process was nearly over, AP reported.

"Because they know we opposed their position," James Steyer, the CEO of Common Sense, which maintains Facebook never should have released a product aimed at kids, told AP. "They know very well our position with Messenger Kids."

A few weeks after Messenger Kids launched, nearly 100 outside experts banded together to urge Facebook to shut down the app, AP reported. Facebook declined.

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Facebook is pressing forward with its messaging app for kids despite criticism from child experts and those who question Facebook's financial support of advisers who okayed the app.According to the Associated Press, Messenger Kids lets kids under 13 chat with friends and...
facebook, messenger kids app, campaign for a commercial-free childhood
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2018-26-16
Friday, 16 February 2018 06:26 PM
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