A flaw with Facebook’s app for under-13s meant children came into contact with unapproved strangers, the company has confirmed.
Messenger Kids, launched in 2017, was pegged as a safe space for children who were too young to use the “grown-up” version of the social network.
The app was meant to only allow children to chat with friends who were approved by a parent.
But a design flaw, first reported by The Verge, made it possible for unauthorised users – who may have been adults – to be part of group chats.
“We recently notified some parents of Messenger Kids account users about a technical error that we detected affecting a small number of group chats,” the company confirmed on Monday.
“We turned off the affected chats and provided parents with additional resources on Messenger Kids and online safety.”
The Verge reported that “thousands” of parents had been sent the message warning them of the issue. The company would not provide a more specific estimate when asked by the BBC.