Experts Beg Facebook to Dump Messenger Kids
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A group of organizations comprised of child advocates, health experts, and educators is urging Facebook to dump Messenger Kids. They have written a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calling on his company to discontinue Messenger Kids and let children enjoy their childhood.

In case you missed it, Messenger Kids is a version of Facebook Messenger aimed at children Facebook Launches Messenger Kids for Children Facebook Launches Messenger Kids for Children Facebook has launched a new standalone version of Messenger aimed at kids. And it is, rather inevitably, called Messenger Kids. Read More ages between six and 12. Their parents are always in control, choosing who they befriend, and having the ability to see exactly what they’re doing. But it’s still Facebook for children.

Campaigning to Kill Messenger Kids

As soon as the app was announced parents expressed concern that Facebook was targeting young children. As reported by the Washington Post, that concern has now coalesced into a letter by The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), with the support of other organizations.

In the letter [PDF link] the CCFC and their backers call on Facebook to “discontinue Messenger Kids,” claiming that “excessive use of digital devices and social media is harmful to children and teens, making it very likely this new app will undermine children’s healthy development”.

The letter further claims that children are “not old enough to navigate the complexities of online relationships,” and “do not have a fully developed understanding of privacy”. Recent studies are then cited showing how social media use can negatively affect kids The Negative Impact Of Social Networking Sites On Society [Opinion] The Negative Impact Of Social Networking Sites On Society [Opinion] I have accounts on several social networking sites, and spend far too long on them writing my own updates and reading the updates of others. I enjoy doing so, being able to interact with friends,... Read More in various different ways.

The letter ends by stating, “Raising children in our new digital age is difficult enough. We ask that you do not use Facebook’s enormous reach and influence to make it even harder”. Facebook has already responded, telling various publications that it has no plans to shutter Messenger Kids.

Hooking Children While They’re Young

Facebook clearly tried to ensure Messenger Kids is as inoffensive to parents as possible. However, it’s still an app designed to hook children as young as six on social media. And that is never going to sit well with people whose job it is to look out for the wellbeing of children How To Be a Better Parent In Your Child's Online World How To Be a Better Parent In Your Child's Online World There's no question that growing up in today's world is nothing like growing up over the past few decades. Obviously, computers and technology make a childhood of today nothing at all like a childhood of... Read More .

Have you let your children start using Messenger Kids? If so, why? Would you rather they got used to using social media in a responsible manner? If not, why? Do you think kids should be kept away from social media until they turn 13-years-old? Please let us know in the comments below!

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  1. carstorm
    January 30, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Imo the app is fine. It doesn't show ads to kids and parents have lots of control over who and what their kids do on the app. Most kids will enjoy eventually end up on FB or whatever social network their friends are on anyway.