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Report: Apps for Kids Contain Dubious, Unsuitable Ads

Apps aimed at very young children are a "wild west" of dubious advertising according to the author of a new study. Jenny Radesky of the University of Michigan's CS Mott Children's Hospital said the advertising was often manipulative. The researchers ... looked at 135 Android apps played by children, including the 96 most downloaded from the Google Play store in the "5 And Under" category. Their headline finding was that 95 percent contained at least one form of advertising. That's arguably a little misleading as this includes 42 percent of the apps featuring a commercial character such as one ... (view more)

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Investors Demand Apple Tackle Phone Addiction

Two of Apple's big investors want the company to tackle 'smartphone addiction' among younger users. They say failing to address the problem now could hurt the company's value in the long term. The call comes from investment management company Jana ... Partners, along with the managers of retirement plans for teachers in California. Between them they hold around $2 billion of Apple Stock, though that is only around one fifth of one percent of the entire company. (Source: ) They cited research that says using smartphones too much can mean students don't get enough sleep and pay less ... (view more)

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Facebook Launches Chat For Kids - But is it Safe?

Facebook has created a special version of its Messenger tool for users aged under 13. Those are kids that are too young to use the main Facebook site (officially, at least). The core functions of Messenger Kids will be the same as the main Messenger ... app: users can exchange written messages in real time, or carry out video calls. There'll also be a range of "comedic" filters and effects to overlay on the video. One difference is that there will be no form of advertising whatsoever. There will also be some automated moderation tools that block users from sharing abusive content. Parents Must ... (view more)

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Experts: Kids Tablet Use Requires Parental Interaction

Experts say toddlers should be allowed limited access to tablets and other gadgets. It reverses previous advice that kids under two be kept away from small screens altogether. The advice comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It now ... recommends 18 months as the minimum age to "use" screen devices, but says children aged five and under should spend a maximum of one hour a day in front of screens. It's not a case of 'anything goes', however. The AAP says young kids should only use screens for specific purposes. These include watching "high quality" ... (view more)

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