Television- bad or not?

So I heard they recommend not letting a child watch tv before the age of 2, but is it really bad to let a 12 or 18 month old watch educational baby shows? Not even just to entertain them so you can go on your phone or something, but to also help in their development and stimulation. Not a lot of course. Just curious as I know someone who doesn't let her child watch any tv (he's 16 months) and someone else who has let her child watch it for a little while (he's 20 months now). Is controversy the right place for this as I suppose it could become a debate? Lol 

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