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The Silicon Review Asia

Shut down Messenger Kids, Health Experts warn Zuckerberg

Shut down Messenger Kids, Health Experts warn Zuckerberg

In the overall well being of a human and his psychosis, a healthy and happy childhood plays a pivotal part. Kids are full of hope and imagination, which should be nurtured and encouraged. However, due to the recent advancement in technology, everything from a kid’s toy to an elder’s walking stick has been fitted with tech-savvy devices. Technology had flooded our lives and sometimes I dare say not in a pleasant way.

The classic example of this is technology hindering with the development of children, by giving them access to digital devices. Citing these reasons and more, dozens of pediatric and mental health experts are calling on Facebook to stop a messaging service the company introduced last month for children.

More than 110 child-health advocates have addressed Facebook‘s CEO Mark Zuckerberg to halt “Messenger Kids” a new advertising-free Facebook app targeted at 6-to-12-year old, warning of the dangers of social media for children.

The standalone Messenger Kids app was launched in December 2017, targeting children under 13 with strict parental controls that include contact approvals, screened content and safety filters to prevent children sharing inappropriate material. It contains no ads and Facebook says data collected from it will not be used for advertising purposes.

In an open letter led by the Boston-based Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood, signed by doctors, educators and child health experts including Baroness Susan Greenfield, warn that “younger children are simply not ready to have social media accounts”.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is an advocacy group that has successfully pushed companies to abandon marketing like a Pokemon Go app that sent children to fast food and other stores, and McDonald’s advertising on the envelopes of report cards in Florida.

 

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