Go play… inside? Facebook debuts Messenger Kids

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"Facebook says parents can control which relative children connect with but evidence shows they are more likely to be abused by someone close to them than complete strangers, so we cannot trust that all parents have the best interests of their child at heart".

Facebook Messenger kids launched is the free app which is aimed at kids under 13, who can't yet have their own accounts under Facebook's rules, though they can use this app to use the facebook account.

The app is now only available in the U.S. on Apple's iOS operating system.

Once it is installed on a young person's tablet or smartphone it can be controlled using an adult Facebook account, who must pre-approve who they can talk to.

Facebook in its response wrote: "On Thursday November 30 just after midnight Pacific time we bacame aware that a few people were having issues with their Messenger accounts. Sometimes after 5 or 10 minutes it's really hard to have a sustained conversation with a 7-year-old", but kids can joke around with Grampa using the selfie filters when they run out of run-on stories to tell them.

"We appreciate that for now, the product is ad-free and appears created to put parents in control".

The app may be built for kids to use, but parents are the ones in the driver's seat.

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According to the BBC's North America technology reporter, Dave Lee, the prevention methods to stop under-age children using Facebook are "trivial", meaning more than 20 million under-13-year-olds are thought to be using the network.

Judging from Facebook's own announcement posts, Messenger Kids is seemingly set up to maintain an appropriate space for young minds looking to dip into the wild world of the web.

The Secretary of State for Health said he was not sure Messenger Kids, which is being rolled out in the USA before the United Kingdom, "is the right direction at all".

Although some parents are impressed with the lengths Facebook went to make the app as safe as possible, others are understandably expressing some concern in the review section of the app's page in the iTunes store. On Snapchat, where ephemerality can cover evidence of inappropriate contact, or Musical.ly, where kids dance provocatively in front of huge audiences, dangers mount and parents are often clueless. Messenger Kids comes with a slew of controls for parents.

He said: 'Not sure this is the right direction at all.

That's why it was smart that Facebook tasked Cheng with leading the project.

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