Facebook Messenger Kids now lets parents view their kids' chat history and remotely log them out
Facebook has announced a raft of changes to its Messenger Kids service, giving parents more control and oversight over what their children are able to do.
Parents are now about to see 30 days' worth of chat logs as well as details of the types of conversation they are having with different contacts. Other new features include the ability to see images that have been shared, and also to remotely log their child out of chat sessions using the Parent Dashboard.
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Facebook has faced criticism for failing to protect children using its services, and these latest changes are a response to that. As well as giving new controls to parents, the company is also making it easier for children to block contacts so they can avoid messages from people they do not want to be connected with.
The social networking behemoth shares details of all of the new options and controls available to parents:
Recent Contacts and Chat History: 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.
Log of Images in Chats: See the most recent photos and videos your child has sent and received in their inbox. If you believe an image or video is not appropriate for your child, you can remove it from your child’s message thread and report it.
Reported and Blocked Contacts History: 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. Parents will continue to be notified via Messenger if their child blocks or reports someone.
Remote Device Logout: See all devices where your child is logged in to Messenger Kids and log out of the app on any device through the Parent Dashboard. (Note: This feature is not meant to control when kids have access to the app -- try Sleep Mode for that.)
Download Your Child’s Information: Request a copy of your child's Messenger Kids information, similar to how you can download your own information within the Facebook app. The download will include a list of your child’s 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.
Facebook also says that it will be using child-friendly language in Messenger Kids to help educate children about how their data is shared and used.