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Campus Suite Blog

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Facebook Messenger Kids Targets Under-13 Students

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Posted by Jay Cooper
Jun 26, 2019, 1:45:48 PM

A Facebook account for your 1st-grader?

Kindergarten students and 1st-graders may soon be learning their Facebook passwords before they learn their ABCs. It may sound outrageous, but it’s an app that Facebook officials could become quite useful in the classroom – and done with parent approval.

In an recent article published by EdTech, associate editor Meghan Bogardus Cortes previews how Messenger Kids could become a transformative tool for educators. Promoted by Facebook as the ‘Safe Kids Chat App’, Messenger Kids operates much like it’s grown-up Messenger app that’s built right into Facebook. Read Meghan’s article here.

Debate about safety

It’s only natural that educators and parents alike (and others, of course) might be a little leery of very young children using Facebook’s chat app. Since there are already critics of allowing 13-year-olds (the minimum age of to join FB) to use Facebook, it’s no surprise this new app, which is available to kids as young as 6-years-old, is causing a stir among child advocates.

But fear not, the app requires full parental approval (or some designated trusted adult), and follows the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Parents have total control of their kids’ contact list and children cannot connect with contacts outside their parents’ approval. What’s more, Facebook developers ran it by the National PTA and online safety experts.

Leave it to Facebook to be at the center of another debate when it comes to privacy, and in this case, child safety. Connecting with each other via text messaging is a widespread method for young and old to connect, but it appears the question is, "How young?" 

More on the subject:

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Author Avatar
Posted by Jay Cooper

Marketing director and content strategist for Campus Suite, Jay’s a former school public relations specialist who’s helped businesses, schools and colleges use the power of web communications to improve their image, generate support, and optimize relationships. Reach him at jay@campussuite.com or follow him @jay4schools.

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