Creepy doll redux: 8 reasons not to buy Hello Barbie

Hello Barbie
CC BY 2.0 Mike Licht/flickr

Why Mattel's diabolical darling could be a threat to children’s privacy, wellbeing, and creativity.

Earlier this year we wrote about Hello Barbie, the super creepy eavesdropping doll that records your child’s conversations and transmits them directly to Mattel's technology partner. (Is Hello Barbie the creepiest doll of all?) Your nightmare has come to life; she’s perky with impossible proportions and loves talking fashion while coaxing secrets from little girls. Just, no.

Back in March the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) launched a drive to encourage Mattel to reconsider releasing the polymeric secret agent. Now that she is on the shelves, CCFC is back in action with the aim of enlightening unsuspecting shoppers about why this toy is such a dreadful idea, noting that if Hello Barbie is a hit, other eavesdropping toys are sure to follow. They've come up with eight points:

1. Children’s private conversations shouldn’t be shared with corporations or strangers.
2. Is Hello Barbie a “friend,” or a viral marketer? (As you can guess, a lot of the latter.)
3. Hello Barbie undermines creative play.
4. Surveillance has no place in children’s play.

Hello Barbie© CCFC5. Children deserve a genuine listener, not a robot.
6. Why let the Barbie brand have more influence over your child?
7. Even parents shouldn’t listen to secret recordings of their children.
8. Hello Barbie is vulnerable to data breaches.

Hello Barbie© CCFCEach of these points are further explored on the CCFC site, along with photos the group invites you to share on social media. For more, visit the CCFC Hell No Barbie page and help keep Barbie in her box.

Tags: Corporate Responsibility | Holidays | Toys


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