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Facebook Messenger App aimed at kids drawing push back

Child development advocates are calling on Facebook to discontinue its new Messenger Kids app, which is targeted at 6 to 12 year olds.

More than a dozen organizations and about 100 health experts sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying the new chat app will likely damage a child’s healthy development.

In December, Facebook unveiled Messenger Kids, which lets young users talk to their friends and make video calls. Facebook’s policy still requires users to be at least 13 to sign up for the main site.

Facebook said it took steps to address concerns, such as working with a committee of about a dozen experts and more than 250 online safety organizations to develop the app. It also met with parents across the U.S. to hear the major concerns about their kids using technology.

CEO of Early Connections in Colorado Springs, Diane Price said from birth to at least age eight, children are learning about reading and interacting, so anything between those times are difficult for kids to imagine safety and privacy.

“I believe that whole thing around safety and privacy and understanding what is put out- there stays out there. As adults we have to be cautious about how we nurture young children and how we help them grow,” Price said.

Price has experienced some social media’s affects on preteens with her granddaughter.

“My granddaughter went to a new school when she was 12-years-old and experienced cyberbullying and was very susceptible to what was being said to her. As a family we had to sit down and talk about it,” Price said.

Price understands it’s hard to keep track of your kids at all times, and says trust with your child is one of the most important things.

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