Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Hunt to Facebook: 'Stay away from my kids'

Hunt to Facebook: 'Stay away from my kids'

Children under 13 are now not allowed to use Facebook, but the company has launched a new messaging app, aimed at those as young as six - which needs parental approval before it can be used.

Messenger Kids is an app aimed at users younger than 13, the minimum age at which people are allowed to sign up for a regular Facebook account. The rules for traditional Facebook services will not change.

The company said that children's information will not be used for any ads and there are no ads in the app. The exception is that if kids report a piece of objectionable content, their parents will be notified but still not shown the content in their own app.

The Messenger Kids app won't have ads, Facebook said, allaying concerns children might see advertisements that aren't age-appropriate, something Alphabet Inc.'s YouTube has struggled with before.

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Messenger Kids complies with the Children's Online Privacy Protections Act law set by the Federal Trade Commission, so Facebook won't migrate children's accounts when they turn 13 or collect data for advertising purposes.

Facebook spoke to "thousands of parents", as well as associations like the National PTA and various parenting experts, and it found a need for a children's messaging app with parental controls.

Just a thought: Will we someday have "Truth" campaigns to keep kids from starting social media accounts?

When a child uses the Messenger Kids app, they'll be able to send messages, photos, recordings, stickers, animated filters, and can even start video calls, as well as "like" messages. It will be linked to an adults' Facebook account.

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"Why should parents simply trust that Facebook is acting in the best interest of kids?"

"Many of us at Facebook are parents ourselves, and it seems we weren't alone when we realized that our kids were getting online earlier and earlier", a Facebook statement said. "With the feature-filled camera, kids can create fun videos and decorate photos to share moments with loved ones". Messenger Kids is also created to be compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). The prevailing mood is that since kids are using social networks, you might as do what you can to make sure that use is safe and monitored. Messenger Kids came out Monday in the an app for Apple devices -the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

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

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