Social Media Harms
Biden Highlights Need for Social Media Regulation
Will Public Demand for the Safety of Teens and Children Online Outweigh Big Tech’s Influence on Politicians?
President Biden highlighted the need to protect children and teens from online harm during his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, March 1, 2022:
“As Frances Haugen… has shown, we must hold social media platforms accountable for the national experiment they’re conducting on our children for profit.”
“It’s time to strengthen privacy protections; ban targeted advertising to children; demand tech companies stop collecting personal data on our children.”
Biden emphasized the findings of research conducted by many academics and rigorously evaluated through peer-reviewed articles. Researchers working for the social media company, Meta, also came to the conclusion that there were many negative effects on mental health with the use of both the Facebook and Instagram platforms. The Facebook papers include these researchers’ findings.
Forty-three members of the National Association of Attorneys General requested in a May 2021 letter that Meta discontinue its development of an Instagram product for children under the age of 13 years old.
The not-for profit organization, Common Sense, developed a list of social media harms that includes 30 references that identify harms such as:
- Behavioral addiction
- Negative social comparisons
- Promotion of content encouraging disordered body image, self-harm and suicide
- Sexual online abuse
Pundits continue to debate the accuracy and relevance of the studies that document social media harms on children and teens. However, the evidence is mounting that these harms do exist. Social Media Harms now includes a list of over 80 peer-reviewed, academic studies supporting this conclusion, and show that these harms effect not only children and teens, but adults, too.
Let’s use this momentum to convince our elected leaders to stand up to Big Tech and protect our children and grandchildren.
Call, e-mail or write your U.S. federal elected officials both Senators and Congressmen and ask them to endorse the
Kids Online Safety Act
Social Media Harms provides a listing of peer-reviewed studies, scholarly books, and articles from authoritative sources that document the negative effects of social media use. The site also lists links to organizations dedicated to reducing the harms created by social media platforms and other online services. We do not solicit donations, however, we are asking for additions to our lists of peer reviewed studies and authoritative books and articles.