London, Dec 6: Joining the chorus against a newly introduced Facebook Messenger Kids, British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned the social media major to stay away from his children.
Flagging concern over the recent development, Hunt on Wednesday tweeted “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!” he added.
Not sure this is the right direction at all. 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! https://t.co/XrwfSHsUMj
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) December 5, 2017
Facebook on Monday launched Messenger Kids for minor children to communicate with family and friends through video chat and message when they can’t be together in person.
Rolled out in the US for the certain duration, Messenger Kids will be available on kids’ tablets or smartphones but can be controlled from a parent’s Facebook account.
The social media giant was yet to comment on this. Facebook’s move has already invited flak in some countries.
However, Facebook said in a blog post that it has launched Messenger Kids after speaking to thousands of parents, associations like National PTA and parenting experts, news agency IANS quoted.
Facebook discovered that there’s a need for a messaging app that enable children to communicate to their loved ones 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, had said.
Once the account is created by a parent, kids can start a one-on-one or group video chat with parent-approved contacts.
In addition to video chat, children can send photos, videos or text messages to the people who are in their friends list.