losangelesnewstoday.com March 18, 2018

Facebook's new chat app for kids makes parents approve conversations (FB)

06 December 2017, 12:40 | Dawn Berry

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Strictly speaking, only those aged 13 and over are allowed to use Facebook.

The rule is widely flouted and more than 20 million children are thought to be members of the site.

So on Monday, Facebook launched its first app tailored for young users.

For those concerned with privacy and advertising to younger audiences, Facebook states that "there are no ads in Messenger Kids and your child's information isn't used for ads". The service will not allow for the children to add their own friends or even deleting messages - only parents can do that. From there, kids can dive instantly into a video chat or text thread with their contacts.

"If we ban every screen from use in the home, sooner or later they're going to be in a playground and another child is going to have a phone without the adequate protection on it".

James Steyer, the CEO of the kids-focused on the non-profit group Common Sense, stated that while he liked the idea of a messaging app which needs the parental sign-ups, many questions remain.

Jeremy Hunt has told Facebook to "stay away from my kids" after it launched a new messaging app aimed at children. " said Loren Cheng, Product Management Director, Facebook".

He said Facebook is trying to deal with the situation sensibly by direction-finding young Facebook users to serves the designed for them.

The move opens up a new way for Facebook to compete with Snap's disappearing-photo and chat app, which is popular among younger teenagers.

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The other tool of the Facebook has released in the past, objective and real-world use do not always match up. How many more years can Donald Trump sustain them?

"God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains", he said, reflecting on the small "dopamine hit" we get when someone gives us a "like" on social media. Messenger Kids, meanwhile, "is a result of seeing what kids like", which is images, emoji and the like. Six-year-olds should be playing with worms, not getting FOMO.

The app has been designed for children to connect with others in a safe place.

There is tentative support for what Facebook is doing.

The social network has not commented on Mr Hunt's tweet.

Facebook's existing Community Standards apply to Messenger Kids, the company says, but beyond that, specialised "reviewers [for Messenger Kids] will also look for other signs of potential abuse and take appropriate action, whether it's removing specific messages or entire accounts for repeated abuse".

"But without clear policies about data collection, what happens to the content children post, and plans for the future, it is impossible to fully trust the platform".

"Probably like most parents, I recoiled I horror at this announcement but on reading more, I'm sold", said Anne-Marie O'Leary, editor in chief at Netmums.

Although, Facebook hasn't made any official statements yet regarding why Facebook messenger has gone down.

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