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Messenger Kids Advocates Were Facebook-Funded ( 35

Fast Company: Facebook unveiled this kid-friendly version of its signature messaging service in December, while the YouTube Kids scandal was in full swing. Messenger Kids, Facebook said, had been designed to serve as a "fun, safer solution" for family communications. It would be available for children as young as 6, the company said. To forestall criticism, Facebook asserted that the app had been developed alongside thousands of parents and a dozen expert advisors. But it looks like many of those outside experts were funded with Facebook dollars. According to Wired, "At least seven members of Facebook 13-person advisory board have some kind of financial tie to the company." Those advisors include the National PTA, Blue Star Families, Connect Safely, and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.
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Messenger Kids Advocates Were Facebook-Funded

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  • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2018 @12:21PM (#56122285) Homepage

    throughout lobbying, this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. There are no depths to which those versed in averace will not sink in order to satiate their perverse desires. If it means having to prop up puppet groups, just like the far right has done numerous times, in order to find such "family friendly" advocates then let them. Let them do it so we can mock them and point out their lack of clothes.

    It's that second part which is more important. There is no pity to spend here. Mocking laughter is the only cure for this ailment.

  • I am not in the least surprise by this.
    More surprised that only 7 of the 13 are in their pockets and not 11 or 12.
    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      Well, since what they said was only that 7 out of 13 "have been shown" it's not that surprising. It could easily be 13 our of 13, and that would still be honest. It's like the ISP promise of a connection speed of "up to 10 mbps". It's perfectly honest even if you can't raise the carrier at all.

  • Get 'em while they are young right Zuck? Fucking child-manipulating piece of shit.
    • by gnick ( 1211984 )

      Get 'em while they are young...

      Well yeah, a consumer's a consumer. Kids steer $$ too so their data's valuable. If we keep down this road, I'm afraid we'll start seeing video games marketed toward children that INTENTIONALLY try to get them hooked.

  • by Jaguar777 ( 189036 ) * on Wednesday February 14, 2018 @12:53PM (#56122541) Journal

    Halfway through the article the author says they were unable to find any bias caused by the funding.

    Funding from Facebook may not have affected the feedback or research around Messenger Kids. The Facebook advisers who spoke to WIRED offered thoughtful perspectives, based on personal experience or supported by research.

    The title of the article could have just as easily been "Facebook Sought Expert Review for Messenger Kids"

    • If you're not getting funding from Facebook, how much time and money are you going to spend studying their upcoming products?

      This is the universal problem with "independent" testing. Same problem for food, drugs, cars, etc. We require manufacturers to test their products, then doubt the results because they paid for it.

  • ..and soda companies, and sugar companies, and so on, and so on: Fund the narrative you want to present, cherrypick your data to fit it, supress anything that doesn't. Congratulations, Facebook/Zuckerberg, you're at least a full order of magnitude more evil than even I thought you were.
  • by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2018 @01:41PM (#56122971)

    I am shocked, SHOCKED, to find astroturfing going on in this establishment.

    {Your biased expert findings, sir.}

    Thank you.

  • Would people prefer that Facebook only solicit advice from uncompensated non-professionals?
    • Many, many people here would, clearly. Gone are the days when most of the Slashdot readership were competent thoughtful professionals, but we both already knew that. Next up, "Porsche bribed experts to design their cars. In fact our investigation has uncovered the fact that every single expert involved in the design was financially compensated by Porsche!"
    • The experts were supposed to be advocates for the children. They had non-advisory panel connections to Facebook. It's a conflict. It's the same reason that, while we expect doctors working on human drug trials to be compensated, we certainly don't expect those doctors to own the drug they're testing.

The world is coming to an end--save your buffers!