US Surgeon General: Social Media May Harm Kids

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The Facts

  • US Surgeon General Vivek Murphy on Tuesday released a report warning that social media can have a “profound risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children.”

  • Murphy called on legislators, Big Tech, researchers, and parents to adopt safeguards that could reduce the potential risks to children and adolescents that are outlined in the 19-page report.

The Spin

Narrative A

While the data is still being collected, there’s no doubt that frequent social media use by kids aged 10-19 creates distinct changes in their developing brains that can affect them moving forward. Social media is particularly harmful because not only does it alter their perception of reality, but it is also extremely addictive. It’s crucial that everyone come together to create a menu of regulations for protecting kids.

Narrative B

Authorities must be careful not to overreach in protecting kids from the harms of social media, or they’ll miss out on the many benefits, which include support for youth that are part of marginalized groups. There have already been attempts by governments and tech companies to make social media safer, but this shouldn't be used to dismiss it as harmful as a whole .

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