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Kids can now bypass Facebook Messenger safety rule due to Technical error in the app..



The app mistakenly allowed "thousands" of children to exchange messages with people who had not been approved by their parents, contrary to the app's rules, according to a report by The Verge.
 

Facebook just proved that critics and privacy advocates were right to question whether the social network could be trusted to run an app aimed at children younger than 13. 


Due to a "technical error," children were able to participate in group chats even when there were members who had not been previously approved by their parents. One of Messenger Kids' safety features requires that parents pre-approve friends that are allowed to message their children. 
It's not clear how long this "error" has been in place, but Facebook has been alerting parents whose kids were able to bypass the safety feature via group chats.
We recently notified some parents of Messenger Kids account users about a technical error that we detected affecting a small number of group chats," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "We turned off the affected chats and provided parents with additional resources on Messenger Kids and online safety." 
Facebook launched Messenger Kids in 2017, with the promise that parents would have strict control over their children's activity on the app. Unlike Facebook's other services, the app is open to children under the age of 13. But children are only supposed to be able to exchange messages with people who are also friends with their parents, andwho have been pre-approved. 
Needless to say, the fact that kids were able to bypass one of Facebook's major safeguards through one of the most common messaging app features is not particularly reassuring. Messenger Kids has faced criticism from privacy advocates who say the company is simply looking for a new way to capture the attention of young users. (Facebook has promised that it doesn't serve Messenger Kids users with advertising, or hand over their information to advertisers.)
The timing of this disclosure is also not great for Facebook. The company is expected to announce a settlement with the FTC this week, in which the company will pay a $5 billion fine as the result of its privacy policies. 

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