Facebook launches messenger for kids amidst criticisms by experts

Facebook recently launched its messenger service for kids under the age of 13 in Canada amidst criticisms and words of protest. The text and video messaging app have been released even when child advocates have warned that kids are not suited to use social media at such a tender age.

What can you expect from the kids version?

The kid’s version of the messenger app was first tested in the USA during the end of 2017. Facebook describes the app as a safer alternative to chat with family and close friends in a more controlled environment. Facebook on its part claims that they have developed the app with suggestions from experts and parents. They also took the feedback from MediaSmarts, the Canadian digital literacy agency and incorporated their advice in building the app. But some of the organizations and experts approving the app have been recipients of donations or research funding from Facebook in past few years.

What is the difference?

There are some differences between the standard messenger app and the kid’s version. For starters, it doesn’t display ads and doesn’t display all that you would expect in a normal Facebook account. The app will also allow ensuring that you could get access to the contacts or the device use statistics. But the concerns about the social impact on kids could be significant.

A plea from the experts

More than 100 medical experts, child advocates, civil society groups and other personalities sent a signed letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. They described their concerns in the letter and asked him not to release the app in Canada. The Canadian non-profit organization the Public Interest Advocacy Centre also sent letters to Zuckerberg and Kevin Chan, who is the head of public policy in Canada for Facebook, asking them not to launch the app.

John Lawford, director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, expresses a valid concern on the release of the app. He says that Facebook still isn’t making it clear what it is going to do with the data that its college from the kid’s version of the messenger. The concern about data privacy and ownership cannot be pushed under the carpet after the recent scandals of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook where information from millions of accounts was passed to a third party organization.

The other methods facebook can use

Facebook’s launched app is aimed to garner a new niche for itself when it comes to kids.

Lawford also wrote in this letter about Facebook’s clever marketing trip- they can target and acquire the kids at a young age and convert them into lifelong customers. Other experts have argued that kids are ill-equipped to understand the nuances of online privacy issues and social etiquettes that we adopt when conversing via text. The increased screen time could also hamper the social skills of the children making them unable to have healthy relationships. Kids at such age should be having more face to face interactions to help them develop social skills.

But it seems that Facebook hasn’t given any consideration to the criticisms meted out to it.

How Canada Can Fix Its Social Concerns

Being the most advanced western society never means that there are no social issues in Canada. However, there is a solution to every issue and therefore Canada can also fix the current social issues very effectively. Living in Canada is still a boon as the social issues here are nothing as compared to third world countries. Proper skills and training are required to resolve the social issues in Canada. These are very complex in nature and therefore need proper attention. There are some issues which can be fixed without any formal training while others required proper training. To get the work done tech advancements and innovations are necessary. Those issues which need proper attention should be at the top of the list as they are not only vital but are becoming critical with the passage of time. To ensure that the best outcome is generated in this regard some applicable solutions are as under:

Youth unemployment

It is one of the major issues which are faced by Canada. The youth unemployment rate is 15.5%. On the other hand, the national average is just 5.5%. It clearly shows how critical this issue is and how fast the government should respond. There are several theories that have been put forward in this regard. The economic stability is only possible if youth acts as the main workforce. For any country, this issue is very serious. Youth in Canada is zealous and therefore should act as a backbone of the society as well as economy. The best thing that can be done in this regard is short work week. It will make sure that more young men and women try to get the perks that are associated with any particular position. Young women having children will benefit a lot. The cost of daycare will reduce resulting in overall economic stability.

Climate change

Though many people are not directly affected nor concerned about the issue certainly it will hamper society in the coming years. There are many issues which are related to this phenomenon and it should, therefore, be addressed without any delay. The climate change groups should be created to ensure that the issue is addressed in a right manner. There are several other problems which are related to the climate change. Geoengineering should be taught at the college level. It will make sure that the overall climate change effects are brought to light. Once again youth indulgence is required to make sure that the efforts prove to be fruitful.

Gun control

This issue is also transforming into a quandary and therefore immediate control is required. The tech advancements in this regard are the ones that can prove to be fruitful. There are many issues which can lead to gun violence. The root cause should be eliminated to make sure that the best outcome is generated. Smart gun technology is being worked upon by the Canadian authorities. This tech innovation will make sure that only registered users fire a gun. Though a lot of work is required in this regard but smart gun innovation is a healthy step.

Social Issues in Canada

Canada is considered to be one of the most advanced societies of the west. It does not mean that the social issues are not latched to it. There are certain issues which Canadians face till today and that are why it has been the top agenda of the political parties trying to win power in the elections. The fact of the matter is that there are some social issues about which a common Canadian is yet to decide to stand for or against. The United States being a neighbor also has a very strong influence that tends to change the Canadian society. Canadians, however, do not want to see their country transforming into an American thing. Canadians are peaceful and therefore they want their society to be the same. Luckily the issues which are faced by Canadian society today are linked to the internal matters of the country. Unlike other countries the issues are solvable and therefore they are always debated. Some of the social issues prevailing in Canada are as follows:

Mental health issues

This issue is solely related to men and specifically veterans. PTSD is the most common mental issue that leads to perilous consequences if not treated in time. There are many issues which are related to this phenomenon. It leads to violence against women and social hatred in general. This is transforming into a quandary with the passage of time. Most issues are simply overlooked as they are related to veterans who hold a specific position of dignity and honor.

The fact is that this social issue should never be ignored. Proper medical treatment and fixture to make sure that nothing happens in future should be adopted. Violence is always accountable and must not be overlooked under any circumstances. Lionel Desmond is a recent example of such violence. He could have been saved. However, lack of attention towards this issue lead to his murder suicide.

Abortion laws in Canada

Till 1969 the abortion was completely forbidden in Canada specifically for the Roman Catholic wing of Christianity. Illegal abortions have always been a part of the Canadian society and they continue even today. Some years after 1969 the act was allowed to be legit under very strict rules and regulations. Dr. Henry Morgentaler (1923-2013) was perhaps one of the most controversial figures in Canadian history. He not only hated the pro-life organizations but also appeared in court to make sure that unnecessary ban on abortion can be lifted. He deemed that the abortion rule in Canada is not as per rules and regulations. It should be lifted so that Canadian women can choose whatever they want to. This social issue in Canada needs immediate addressing.

Freedom of Speech

From social media to print and electronic media Canada is yet to decide the boundaries and effect of the freedom of speech law.  It is taken very seriously but there are some issues which are related to this social factor. The current Canadian government is thinking very seriously to make sure that freedom of speech is limited. The fact is that it is a never ending conversation which is yet to be decided in a fair manner.It should be emphasized that Canadian government is regarded one of the most loyal in the world. Besides solving a problem of free speech, Canada resolved another contradictory question and permitted gambling.That is why today it is quite easy to have a good time checking one of the safest websites ValleyGames, where you can select popular online casino game suitable to your taste, rather than searching for a gambling establishment.

Canadian Social Organizations

The number of social issues in Canada is on rising. It is because there are some issues which are yet to be decided. A common Canadian needs proper recognition as a Canadian. All pseudo cultures are not only negated by the communities all over the country but they have also refused to take American stance in everyday life. The USA is considered to be the most powerful country and the largest economy in the world. However, the fact of the matter is that the Canadians do not want their culture to be influenced at all. The need of the hour is social awareness which is the key to success. There are many social organizations which are working in Canada to make sure that common social issues get a platform for the exposure they have always needed. There are certain issues which are never discussed and therefore they need a proper voice. Organizations working for Canadian society make sure that this happens. Social Planning Organizations have been registered in every part of the country. The people who care about their whereabouts can discuss the issues with these organizations. Some of these are stated as under:

Community Services Council, Newfoundland, and Labrador

This social organization ensures that the best services are provided to the community. It is the charitable fund that can be regarded as the lifeline of the organization. People from all over Newfoundland and Labrador make sure that the conferences and workshops which are commenced by this organization are attended. It gets them the exposure that is needed. Innovative ideas are discussed during the events of this organization. These events lead to better social services and increase their outreach. From jobs to social issues faced in setting up business this organization has perfect advice.  It can be regarded as one of the most powerful social betterment organizations of Canada.

Social Planning & Research Council of British Columbia

It is an organization that has been indulged in activities which make sure that a healthy environment is created for people to live. Planning and research are the mainstream functions of this organization. There are many social issues which are given proper platform by Social Planning & Research Council of British Columbia and therefore it has an outreach which is very effective. Income, security, accessibility and social development are the focal areas of this organization. The approach is very systematic which leads to state of the art results. About 1800+ social organizations covering 150+ communities of BC are directly connected to Social Planning & Research Council of British Columbia. Justice at the doorstep is another initiative that has been taken by the organization. The members are spread all over BC and it is free to join.

Edmonton Social Planning Council

This is a small organization which has big and noble aims. The main points which Edmonton Social Planning Council focuses on are as follows:

  • Poverty elimination: Making sure that 40% of children of Edmonton are pulled back from this quandary.
  • Homelessness: The organization has formulated a plan to end homelessness in Edmonton over the next 10 years.
  • Food Security: Safe, healthy and hygienic food for all. The organization also channel resources to strive for zero hunger in the community.