Surgeon general calls for child protection from social media
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on Tuesday called for “immediate awareness and action” from tech companies and lawmakers to curb social media use by young people. Up to 95 percent of teens aged 13-17 said they used a social media platform, according to Murthy’s report. One in three teens says they use social media “almost constantly.” A growing body of evidence shows that social media is harming their mental health, Murthy said.
Is there any legislation in the works? A bipartisan group of senators recently introduced a bill that would ban children under 13 from social media and require those 13 to 17 years of age to get parental permission for an account. Other bills would expand privacy protections for children or disable addictive product features for young people. Critics of this type of legislation argue that social media provides a community for some young people and restrictions could be harmful.
Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in Liberties on a recent U.S. Supreme Court case over what social media companies should be held responsible for.
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