In December, when Facebook launched Messenger Kids, an app for pre-teens and children as young as 6, the company stressed that it had worked closely with leading experts in order to safeguard younger users.
Facebook, he says, is “trying to represent that they have so much more support for this than they actually do.” Academics Sherry Turkle and Jean Twenge, well-known researchers whose work on children and technology is often cited, didn’t know about the app until after it launched.
“For example, we heard from parents and privacy advocates that they did not want ads in the app and we made the decision not to have ads.”
Facebook’s approach to outside voices about Messenger Kids is echoed in its efforts to “fix” other controversial issues, such as fake news and election interference.
Days after social-media analyst Jonathan Albright discovered that Russian propaganda may have been viewed hundreds of millions of times around the presidential election, Facebook called Albright, but then scrubbed the data from the internet.
“It's too bad to see Facebook co-opt the term without taking its meaning seriously beyond asking what are ‘meaningful interactions,’” he tweeted Monday.