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.

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.