Eau Claire social media expert would let his son use new 'Messen - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire social media expert would let his son use new 'Messenger Kids'


Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Earlier this week, News 18 told you about the new Facebook app designed specifically for your children

'Messenger Kids' is meant to prepare children ages 6 though 12 for the world of social media, but some are skeptical. News 18 views had a lot to say about the new app on Facebook (see below).

Lisa P. from Hallie wanted to know how Facebook can control how has a "child's" profile because she's concerned traffickers could take advantage of this new platform. She said:

"If his happens missing children cases will skyrocket." 

Though Alyssa C. from Eau Claire doesn't this it's a dig deal because parents get to choose the people their kids contact. She wrote:

"If you're concerned about one of your Facebook friends being a child predator then either don't give them permission to message the kid or, even better, unfriend them." 

Local social media expert Justin Patchin, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, told News 18 the 'Messenger Kids' app, which is more like FaceTime than Facebook, will likely be more popular with a younger audience.

He said many 10, 11 and 12-year-olds in the U.S. already use unrestricted versions of apps like Snapchat and Musical.ly and they probably won't want to switch over to another program that takes away their control. 

"I did mention it to my soon-to-be 8-year-old and he said it sounded pretty cool," Patchin said. "'Cause of my research interests, I'm sure I'll allow him to interact with Grandma and others using that app and we'll see how it works out." 

A couple of things parents can appreciate about 'Messenger Kids' is contact consent must go both ways; meaning the parents of the child your kid wants added to their contact list, must approve your child as well. 

And content on the app doesn't disappear, like it does on Snapchat, and it can't be deleted. That way parents can always check their kids' devices to find out what's going on. 

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