An open letter and petition led by  the Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC) and MomsRising – urged Zuckerberg to use his “enormous reach and influence to promote children’s wellbeing” and scrap Messenger Kids.

“Please do not target kids. Research shows that excessive social media use is already harming adolescents and teens.Younger children are even less equipped to deal with the interpersonal challenges and addictive power of social media” the letter says  “Kids need time and space to experience the physical world and develop healthy face-to-face relationships.”

Among the 21,000 signatories are educators, health professionals, parents and caregivers. The campaign says that these are “people who see the impacts of technology and social media on children every day” and that they are “distressed about the impacts of technology and social media on the wellbeing of children and families”.