Facebook says it created 'Messenger Kids' to give children a safe way to videochat and send messages to their family and friends and to learn how to deal with social media. But more than a hundred public health advocates are calling on Facebook to pull the plug on the app.
Keep in mind, 'Messenger Kids' has to be set up through a parent's Facebook account because children under 13 still aren't allowed to have one of their own. The app doesn't have buttons for sharing, commenting or liking posts.
A Facebook spokesperson told CBS News "we continue to be focused on making messenger kids be the best experience it can be for families."
Josh Golin, the Executive Director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said, "Really what it's doing is indoctrinating much younger kids onto social media when their friendships should be offline and face to face." He says elementary school age children shouldn't be exposed to the harmful effects of social media and cites studies linking it to increases in depression, suicide rates, and body image issues. Golin recommends parents don't give their kids a smartphone until 8th grade.