Facebook and Facebook's Messenger Kids app icons are displayed on an iPhone in New York, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. Messenger Kids lets kids under 13 chat with friends and family. It displays no ads and lets parents approve who their children message. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

February 16, 2018 - 11:39 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is forging ahead with its messaging app for kids despite criticism from child experts. The company launched Messenger Kids Wednesday on Android; the app landed on Amazon devices in January.

Children's advocates are pressing the company to shut it down, while others question Facebook's financial ties with advisers who provided input.

Facebook touts a team of advisers, academics and families who helped shape the app in the year before it launched.

But a Wired report this week pointed out that more than half of Facebook's safety advisory board had some financial tie to the company. Facebook confirms this and says it hasn't hidden donations to groups such as the National PTA — although it hasn't publicized them, either.

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