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Facebook Does A Monsanto, Funds Experts Who Vetted Messenger Kids

Mark Zuckerberg.JD Lasica/Flickr

The Messenger Kids messaging app aimed at children as young as six years old that Facebook is pushing for has been a controversial issue for some time now. Health experts have warned that it would be terrible for kids, but Facebook tried to downplay the issue by saying that it has been vetted by other experts.

One of the groups that Facebook has touted has vetted Messenger Kids is the National PTA, but it never mentioned it had financial ties to the group, WIRED reports. Apparently, the social network donated money to the body in 2017 and it did the same thing to the Family Online Safety Institute, and two members of its advisory board are actually members of that group.

Facebook has donated to many other groups that have since offered their support for the Messenger Kids app, as well. Of course, it would be unfair to say that all of these entities had nefarious reasons for supporting the service. However, the fact that Facebook didn’t mention its financial ties with these companies is what has skeptics up in arms.

The reasons for worrying about the impact of the app on children adds one more, with Messenger Kids now being available on Android devices. This is in stark contrast to what nonprofit organizations such as Common Sense Media and Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood have been pushing for since the app’s release.

The bodies have been asking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to kill the app because they believe that it’s not safe for children. Unfortunately, it seems the social network believes it knows better.

As TechCrunch notes, Messenger Kids certainly provides parents with much more control over the conversations that their children will have with others on the web, but many argue that kids shouldn’t be on the web in that manner, to begin with. For now, the debate continues.

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