Facebook goes ahead with an app for kids

Facebook is forging ahead with its messaging app for kids, despite child experts who have pressed the company to shut it down ad others who questioned Facebook’s financial support of some advisers who approved the app. “We sometimes provide funding to cover programmatic or logistics expenses, to make sure our work together can have the most impact,” Facebook said.

Messenger Kids lets kids under 13 chat with friends and family. It displays no ads and lets partners approve who their children message. But critics say it serves to lure kids into harmful social media use and to hook young people on Facebook as it tries to compete with Snapchat or its own Instagram app.

They say kids shouldn’t be on such apps at all – although they often are. “It is disturbing that Facebook, in the face of widespread concern, is aggressively marketing Messenger Kids to even more children,” the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said this week. Facebook has touted a team of advisers, academics and families who helped shape the app in the year before it launched.

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