Along with many others who are against a messaging app exclusively for kids from Facebook, British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has rebuked the social media giant to stay away from his children.
“Facebook told me they would come back with ideas to PREVENT underage use of their product, but instead they are actively targeting younger children. Stay away from my kids please Facebook and act responsibly! Not sure this is the right direction at all,” Jeremy Hunt tweeted on his official account on Wednesday.
Facebook had recently initiated Messenger Kids exclusively for under-13 children to video chat and message with family and friends when they can’t be together in person.
Launched in the US for the moment, Messenger Kids is a stand-alone app that will be available on kids’ tablets or smartphones but can be controlled from parent’s Facebook account.
Facebook’s move has already been widely condemned in some countries.
However, Facebook stated that they launched Messenger Kids after talking to thousands of parents, associations like National PTA and parenting experts. As we found that there’s a need for a messaging app that lets kids connect with people they love but also has the level of control parents want.
“In addition to our research with thousands of parents, we’ve engaged with over a dozen expert advisors in the areas of child development, online safety, and children’s media and technology who’ve helped inform our approach to building our first app for kids,” Loren Cheng, Product Management Director at Facebook, wrote in a blog post.