In a bid to give parents more control over what their kids do on Facebook Messenger Kids, the company has added new privacy features on the Parent Dashboard in the app. Parents will now be able to see more details about who their children are messaging with, whether they're video calling them, and a history of anyone they've blocked in the app.
"See who your child is chatting with, whether they are video chatting or sending messages and how frequently those conversations happened over the past 30 days," said Morgan Brown, Product Manager at Facebook, in a statement. Facebook launched Messenger Kids in 2017 which faced lot of criticism over privacy issues.
Parents can now see the most recent photos and videos their children have sent and received in their inbox. If they believe an image or video is not appropriate for the child, they can remove it from the child's message thread and report it. "Access a list of the reporting and blocking actions your child has taken in the app. You'll see a list of the contacts your child has blocked and/or unblocked, if they have reported any messages as well as any contacts they've reported and the reason for their action," said Facebook. Parents will continue to be notified via Messenger if their child blocks or reports someone.
Parents can now see all devices where their kids are logged in to Messenger Kids and log out of the app on any device through the Parent Dashboard. They can request a copy of the child's Messenger Kids information, similar to how they can download their own information within the Facebook app. "The download will include a list of your childaï¿½s contacts as well as the messages, images and videos they have sent and received. Your child will be notified through the Messenger Kids app when you request this information," said the company. Parents can access these new features in the Messenger Kids Parent Dashboard in the Facebook iOS and Android apps.
Facebook also updated the way kids block contacts in Messenger Kids to give them a simpler way to manage who they interact with. Kids can now unblock a blocked contact on their own if they want to restart one-on-one chats with them, and chats with blocked contacts will stay in the Messenger Kids inbox so parents can view them if they'd like. Kids and their blocked contacts will remain visible to one another and will stay in shared group chats, but will not be able to message each other individually. Kids will also receive a warning if they return to, or are added to, a group chat that includes a blocked contact, and can leave group chats at any time.
"Parents remain in control of who their child is connected to in Messenger Kids and can remove people from their childaï¿½s contact list at any time," said Facebook. Facebook said it plans to enable Messenger Kids users to provide feedback directly in the app when something isn't working and run user surveys to help improve product features. "We don't use children's data from Messenger Kids for advertising. There continue to be no ads in Messenger Kids and no in-app purchases," it added.