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Facebook Messenger Kids Is Dangerous, Children Health Groups Say

Playing Child.dagon_/Pixabay

In a recent move to expand its user base, Facebook launched a messaging service called Messenger Kids that would allow children as young as six years old to chat with people. Now, the move is being criticized by advocacy groups campaigning for the health and well-being of children. Sending a letter to Facebook, these groups basically want Messenger Kids removed.

The letter was sent by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, along with the signatures of over 100 advocacy groups concerned for the welfare of children. According to the letter, the newly launched Messenger Kids is incredibly detrimental for children and can interfere with their development, Gizmodo reports.

The groups also cite numerous studies pointing towards the negative effects of social media on children and how they should be kept away from them during their developing years. The consequences of social media use by children can include sleep deprivation, negative body image, depression, and stress.

An alarming increase in teen suicide rates has already been correlated with the rise of the availability of smartphones, and this was due to how the devices made it so easy to get into social media. In response to the letter, Facebook said that it had absolutely no intention to do what the groups implore, PC Mag reports.

The social network is basically defending the app by saying that it was developed with the assistance of children’s health experts and even the Parent Teacher Association. Facebook even said that it has received positive feedback from many parents who say that the app helped them maintain contact with their children.

The company is basically banking on the fact that the app allows for much more parental control as proof that there was nothing to worry about. Suffice it to say, the Campaign was not easily impressed and said that Messenger Kids was not fulfilling a need, but rather creating one.

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August 17 14:30 UTC Released

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2016 bln ARS

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Bln AR bln ARS

January 31 00:00 UTC 288351288351m

ARAnnual Primary Balance*

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2016 bln ARS

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Bln AR bln ARS

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