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Facebook Communications Social Networks

Facebook Launches New Messenger App for Young Kids -- What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (gizmodo.com) 62

More than one billion people use Facebook's Messenger app to communicate every month. Now the social juggernaut is going after the younger audience. On Monday, it announced Messenger Kids, a standalone mobile app designed for children age 13 and under. From a report: The app, Messenger Kids, is a messaging service that gives parents authority over who their kids can chat with. Once a parent adds someone to their child's contact list through the main Facebook app, kids can video chat as well as send photos, videos, and texts, or pick something from "a library of kid-appropriate and specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks, and drawing tools," according to Facebook's announcement post. [...] A Facebook spokesperson said in an email to Gizmodo, "We've built automated systems that can detect things like nudity, violence, and child exploitative imagery to help limit that content from being shared on Messenger Kids. We also have blocking and reporting mechanisms, and have a dedicated team of human reviewers that review all content that is reported."

Facebook Launches New Messenger App for Young Kids -- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Bottom line, don't leave your kids unsupervised with anonymous strangers.

  • Mine certainly don't.
    • Mine certainly don't.

      They HAVE a Facebook account, but they all use Instagram and Snapchat. The Facebook account is just for show for parents.

  • Zuckerberg (Score:4, Funny)

    by Zorro ( 15797 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @11:10AM (#55672439)

    Would YOU leave a kid alone with Mark Zuckerberg?

    He has already raped the internet.

  • Mystifying (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OYAHHH ( 322809 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @11:16AM (#55672489) Homepage

    It is truly a mystery as to how some people think they can take a product, which should only be consumed by adults, and attempt to reconstitute it into a form which is acceptable to be consumed by children.

    Hey Facebook, they are kids, leave them alone!

  • Evil (Score:4, Interesting)

    by omfglearntoplay ( 1163771 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @11:21AM (#55672529)

    They know getting them early is a nice way to get people comfortable (aka hooked). As bad as big tobacco?

    Well, I can't wait for one of my kid's friends to ask for him to get onto Facebook so he can message him. HAHAHA, NO.

    • Re:Evil (Score:4, Interesting)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @11:40AM (#55672713)

      They know getting them early is a nice way to get people comfortable (aka hooked). As bad as big tobacco?

      Getting people hooked to communicating with other people? Fucking sign my kids up. We have enough anti-social loners in the world as it is.

      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

        Getting people hooked to communicating with other people? Fucking sign my kids up. We have enough anti-social loners in the world as it is.

        I remember those pre-internet and cell phone days. Everyone just sat by themselves in dark rooms with no form of communication to those around them. Miserable times indeed.

        • Ahhh but you're aiming for a goal that is no longer achievable. This story is about Messenger vs non messenger. No about changing an entire generation to be outdoor kids again.

          Guess what, times have changed. What kind of an irresponsible parent lets a child go outside anyway. They could get hurt!*

          *Yes some people think like that.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's called meeting humans in person. If you give kids the lazier option of communicating electronically, then that's not going to give them much experience in the real world. It's a recipe for more anti-social loners in the world, not less.

        You mean I can't just disconnect and walk away from the conversation at any moment if I want? That's rude? And I can't say anything I want without seeing the immediate reaction in their tone of voice and their face? Oh. I didn't know that. I'm only used to on-line

      • Right, because Facebook is the only way people can communicate...

        • No, it's the only way people "do" communicate. You could try telling your kid to go play outside and visit a friend. See how well that works for you.

          • It worked very well. She's in nursing school right now and spent plenty of time playing outside.

            It is sad that you think FB is the 'only way people "do" communicate'.

            • She's in nursing school right now

              So a member of a different generation making everything you said irrelevant. Why didn't you just open with that?

      • You think Facebook is about communicating with other people? HAHAHAHA....

        • You think Facebook is about communicating with other people? HAHAHAHA....

          I'll bite. What IS Facebook about?

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        They communicate online, but not in person. :P

        • No they don't. They're under 13 and not allowed to. Or are you agreeing with me that this arbitrary rule of banning communications mediums to under 13 year olds as all current platforms do is stupid?

    • by grantdh ( 72401 )

      They know getting them early is a nice way to get people comfortable (aka hooked). As bad as big tobacco?

      Why not, it's worked with religions for millenia :)

  • by dryriver ( 1010635 ) on Monday December 04, 2017 @11:51AM (#55672839)
    Isn't it unfair that adults get to have all sorts of cool stuff, but children don't? That is about to change with the "Kiddo Card". Its a credit card for kids, and it can do EVERYTHING an adult credit card can do. What's the difference from adult credit cards you ask? NOTHING! For the first time, kids get to play on EQUAL ground with the grownups. Kiddo Card - for a better, fairer future for all our children!
  • From the summary:

    We've built automated systems that can detect things like nudity, violence, and child exploitative imagery

    Considering that all three of those are illegal... how would such a system be built?

  • Letting kids stream videos and send photos... Whoever came up with that option at Facebook is a complete moron. Simple text with a profanity filter that replicates all conversations to the parent account for review is probably fine, but photos and video are just too easy to get in trouble with.

    Just wait til one kid sends another a nude selfie, now you have a real problem.

    IMHO smart phones (note there are still dumb cell phones to be had for kids) and social media should be regulated like tobacco and alcoh

  • They're not going to have the kids send nude pictures for age verification...

  • This is likely just to comply with the new Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act [ftc.gov] (COPPA) that all US websites now have to follow. If the user enters their birth date (most Facebook users do, for reminders) then the company knows the user is under 13 and must then comply with a long list of new regulations.
  • I have no problem with a messenging app for young kids, but if they claim to protect against nudity/violence/exploitation they are opening themselves to lawsuits when those things occur. It's too bad, since the system is probably better than nothing. But this is land of lawsuits.

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