Child campaigners to Zuckerberg: scrap Messenger Kids
The Guardian
Samuel Gibbs

More than 21,000 child health advocates are petitioning Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to “pull the plug” on the company’s Messenger Kids app aimed at under 13s, warning of the “addictive power of social media”.

In an open letter and petition led by two groups, the Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC) and MomsRising, the campaigners urged Zuckerberg to use his “enormous reach and influence to promote children’s wellbeing.”

“Please do not target kids. Research shows that excessive social media use is already harming adolescents and teens,” the letter says. “Younger children are even less equipped to deal with the interpersonal challenges and addictive power of social media. Kids need time and space to experience the physical world and develop healthy face-to-face relationships.”

Among the 21,000 signatories are educators, health professionals, parents and caregivers. The campaign says that these are “people who see the impacts of technology and social media on children every day” and that they are “distressed about the impacts of technology and social media on the wellbeing of children and families”.

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