Health experts urge Facebook to discontinue 'Messenger Kids'

Experts call on Facebook to pull Messenger Kids app

Child health experts have urged Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to scrap Messenger Kids, a social media app aimed at children under the age of 13. Led by the Boston-based Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood, psychiatrists, pediatricians, educators and one children's music singer have teamed up to send Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a letter.

Non-profit organization Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is leading this campaign against Messenger Kids, arguing that launching an app specifically targeted at preschoolers is particularly irresponsible.It also started a public petition seeking to gain more supporters in its fight against Messenger Kids. Facebook's also stressed it doesn't collect information from children or display adverts within the app.

While Facebook typically requires users to be at least 13 to use its products, Messenger Kids is designed for the younger ones, allowing them to piggyback on their parent's account and talk only to parent-approved contacts. "It appeals primarily to children who otherwise would not have their own social media accounts", the letter reads.

The signatories said children are not prepared for online relationships and lack an understanding of privacy and the appropriateness of sharing texts, pictures and videos.

Facebook's global head of safety Antigone Davis has responded to the letter by saying that the company has made Messenger Kids as safe as possible for kids by collaborating with child health experts. Following its introduction last month, child health experts and groups are urging Facebook to kill off its Messenger Kids app.

Facebook told The Sun that Messenger Kids was created with "an advisory committee of parenting and developmental experts", as well as families and America's Parent-Teacher Assocation.

The letter cites a variety of studies that have demonstrated the effects of social media usage among teens, quoting various side effects including depressions, unhappiness, unhealthy sleep habits, and even eating disorders.

The 11- and 12-year-olds who now use Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook are unlikely to switch to an app that is clearly designed for younger children.

"We continue to be focused on making Messenger Kids be the best experience it can be for families".

Many said it's ultimately up to the parent to grant access to the app or not.

What do you think of Messenger Kids? But the 11- and 12- year-olds who now use Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook are unlikely to switch to an app that is clearly designed for younger children. They can also just pick up a phone ...

"But the 11- and 12-year-olds who now use Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook are unlikely to switch to an app that is clearly designed for younger children", the experts write. The groups and individuals who oppose Messenger Kids are attempting to seize on that momentum and prompt a shift at Facebook and the industry. Rather, the app works as an extension of a parent's account, and parents get controls such as the ability to decide who their kids can chat with.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Shell wins nine of 19 blocks awarded in Mexico oil auction
Feb 02, 2018 - 11:46

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Alex Smith traded to Redskins, changes Browns potential QB list
Feb 01, 2018 - 00:45
Foles labeled Smith as a player who "can turn a locker room around", calling him "one of the most athletic guys" in the NFL . With Smith playing for Washington in the NFC, the Chiefs won't even play against him in the regular season until 2021.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Diane Lane, Greg Kinnear Join Final Season of 'House of Cards'
Feb 01, 2018 - 00:44
Based on what we know about House of Cards , they'll be playing deeply shady, highly dubious people who have a mad lust for power. Robin Wright will now lead the series as Claire Underwood, the wife of Spacey's Frank, who became president in the fifth season.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Manchester City make Riyad Mahrez enquiry after Leroy Sané injury
Feb 01, 2018 - 00:42
However, in a twist, the Premier League leaders have now pulled out of the deal, Sky Sports reporter Ben Ransom claims. We spoke many times with the club about what is the best for the players we have and the amount of players we have.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Android users can now ask Alexa to send SMS messages
Feb 01, 2018 - 00:42
The feature is available only to the United States users right now, but I am expecting a broader roll-out in the coming months. From there, Alexa will draw from your contacts just like she already does in order to make calls and send voice messages.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Putin says US list of Russians is 'hostile step'
Feb 01, 2018 - 00:41
The list came amid the ongoing investigations in the US Congress of Trump campaign's purported links to Moscow. The Russian leader stated "it is definitely an unfriendly act". "I think there is no essential change".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Even Roger Goodell is confused by the NFL's catch rule
Feb 01, 2018 - 00:41
I think we've got to look at the rule itself as, is it accomplishing what we want? I think that's what we're focusing on.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Magic Johnson: Fire MSU Staff That Didn't Do Anything About Sexual Assaults
Jan 31, 2018 - 05:04
A school spokesman says Thomashow was told the investigation had resulted in recommended policy changes at the Sports Medicine clinic where Nassar worked.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Clippers send Blake Griffin to Pistons in 6-player deal
Jan 31, 2018 - 05:03
However, in the 40 games he played with Detroit , he averaged 15 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on 31.7 minutes of action. Harris and Bradley were starting in Detroit and it is expected that they'll be starting for the Clippers now.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Governor Abbott Orders Texas Rangers Investigation Into Troubling Allegations At Karolyi Ranch
Jan 31, 2018 - 05:02
Gymnastics cut ties with the ranch earlier this month after a groundswell of criticism of its handling of the Nassar allegations. Last week, the Dallas Morning News reported that Nassar practiced medicine in Texas without a Texas medical license .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump hints at fight over $1 trillion trade with Europe
Jan 30, 2018 - 01:06
Will react if trade restricted Meanwhile, EU said it will react swiftly if the United States restricts its exports. But Europe warned of a "robust response" if there were a trade war.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Saudi billionaire released after arrest in corruption shake-up
Jan 29, 2018 - 03:35
Middle East Eye, quoting undisclosed sources reports that Prince Talal was released from Hotel Ritz-Carlton and arrived home. In a 30 minutes Televised interview with Reuters , Prince Al Waleed bin Talal said: "I have nothing to hide at all".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump ready to apologize over Britain First retweets
Jan 29, 2018 - 03:33
I am for women, I am for men, I am for everyone. "And women are doing great, and I'm happy about that". PM: "Thank you, Mr President ". "But I am a tremendous supporter of the United Kingdom ".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Olivier Giroud Arsenal exit depends on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Arsene Wenger
Jan 29, 2018 - 03:32
If it doesn't happen, then we are strong enough to focus on the players we have and focus on the job with the players we have. At the moment, I don't know. "It's still possible [something could happen] but we are far from being close", said Wenger.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top European Central Bank monetary stimulus still needed to push up inflation -Draghi
Jan 28, 2018 - 00:16
The bank says it will continue its 30 billion euros ($36 billion) in monthly bond purchases at least until September. There was also no change in the wording of the forward guidance, contrary to market expectations.