News Worms
News Worms

Jeremy Hunt tells Facebook to act responsibly over Messenger app for children

Jeremy Hunt tells Facebook to act responsibly over Messenger app for children

In a blog post for the launch, Facebook's Loren Cheng said: "Today, parents are increasingly allowing their children to use tablets and smartphones, but often have questions and concerns about how their kids use them and which apps are appropriate".

Messenger Kids requires an adult to set up the app for their child and manage the child's contacts in a parental control panel featured in the main Facebook app. Kids can chat with standard Messenger users, pending parental approval, so parents don't need to download Messenger Kids themselves to communicate with their children.

The Messenger Kids app, aimed at kids ages 6-12, rolled out Monday on iOS in the U.S. An Android version is coming soon.

The app is now available only on Apple App Store and will subsequently be released on Amazon App Store and Google Play Store in the coming months.

Most apps say that kids have to be at least 13, but there's nothing to stop younger children from signing up. Face filters and playful masks will be distracting for adults, Lavallee stated, but for kids, this feature is going to be interesting as this will be let them learning just how to form relationships and stay in touch with parents as well also teaches kids the way to express themselves.

The app is completely controlled by the parents.

The Health Secretary said Facebook should instead be focused on enforcing its rule banning children aged under 13 from being members at all.

"This app could put pressure on parents to introduce social media earlier to children who may not have developed the emotional resilience to cope with engaging with others online".

After creating a Messenger Kids profile, parents can add contacts directly from their Facebook friends list, including family members and kids of your friends.

"We need to prepare our children for the day when we're not there and we do that gradually giving them more and more responsibility as they get older and we do it by talking about them and by spending time with them - putting those boundaries in place".

Messenger Kids will of course collect data: the child's name, the content of the messages, and typical usage reports for how the app is used. "They want a level of control over their kids' digital world that is similar to the level they have in the real world".

"Not sure this is the right direction at all", he tweeted. But she said that while Facebook made the app "with the best of intentions", it's not yet known how people will actually use it.


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