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To monitor the kids, Facebook launches ‘Sleep Mode’ in Messenger Kids

Since its launch in December 2017, Messenger Kids is facing widespread criticism for encouraging children to join social media.

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LinkedIn faced probe for Facebook ads targeting 18 mn non-members. Pixabay

In an effort to give more control to parents, Facebook has launched a Sleep Mode in its Messenger Kids that will allow parents to set predetermined “off times” for the app on a child’s device.

When the app is in Sleep Mode, kids cannot send or receive messages or video calls, play with the creative camera or receive notifications.

If they try to open the app, they’ll see a message telling them that it’s in sleep mode and to come back later.

“Parents told us they would like controls that make the app inaccessible at a certain time, like during dinner, homework time or bedtime. We took this feedback to heart and built a feature that gives that level of control to parents,” Tarunya Govindarajan, Product Manager at Facebook, said in a blog post late Friday.

Sleep Mode launched by Facebook in Messenger Kids
FB-Messenger, Pexel

With Sleep Mode, parents can set a designated off time and each day at the designated time, the app will “go to sleep” and not be accessible to kids during those hours.

The mode is controlled from the Parent Control centre in the parent’s Facebook account and the “off times” can be changed at any time.

This is how it works.

Go to the Messenger Kids controls in the main Facebook app. Tap on the child’s name, and then on Sleep Mode in the App Controls’ section.

“Set the times you want the app to turn off for your child. You can set different times for weekdays versus weekends. Once you set the limits, the child will not be able to use the app during those hours,” Govindarajan wrote.

Parents can access all of their controls from the Messenger Kids controls in the main Facebook app.

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“In addition to Sleep Mode, parents can add and remove contacts, delete the child’s account, or create a new account right from the control panel,” the post added.

Since its launch in December 2017, Messenger Kids is facing widespread criticism for encouraging children to join social media.

Child health experts the world over have written to Facebook to withdraw the app designed specifically for children under the age of 13.

British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in December warned the social media giant to stay away from his children.

“Facebook told me they would come back with ideas to PREVENT underage use of their product, but instead they are actively targeting younger children. Stay away from my kids please Facebook and act responsibly!” Hunt had posted on Twitter. (IANS)

 

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AI Couldn’t Catch NZ Attack Video Streaming: Facebook

Facebook said it was exploring how AI could help it react faster to this kind of content on a live streamed video

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This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Facing flak for failure to block the live broadcast of the New Zealand terrorist attack last week, Facebook on Thursday said that its Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools were not “perfect” to detect the horrific video.

Vowing to improve its technology, the social networking giant, however, ruled out adding a time delay to Facebook Live, similar to the broadcast delay sometimes used by TV stations.

“There are millions of Live broadcasts daily, which means a delay would not help address the problem due to the sheer number of videos,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s Vice President of Integrity, said in a statement.

“More importantly, given the importance of user reports, adding a delay would only further slow down videos getting reported, reviewed and first responders being alerted to provide help on the ground,” Rosen added.

Strapped with a GoPro camera to his head, the gunman broadcast graphic footage of the New Zealand shooting via Facebook Live for 17 minutes, which was later shared in millions on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

Fifty people were killed and dozens injured in the shootings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Avenue Masjid in Christchurch on March 15 after 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant opened indiscriminate firings.

Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

The circulation of the video on social media platforms attracted widespread criticism from different quarters.

In a letter to CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson asked the technology companies to brief the US Congress on March 27 regarding their response to dissemination of the video on their platforms.

Thompson also warned the technology companies that unless they do better in removing violent content, the Congress could consider policies to bar such content on social media.

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Facebook on Thursday said it was exploring how AI could help it react faster to this kind of content on a live streamed video.

“AI has made massive progress over the years and in many areas, which has enabled us to proactively detect the vast majority of the content we remove. But it’s not perfect.

“However, this particular video did not trigger our automatic detection systems,” Rosen said, referring to the New Zealand attack video. (IANS)