CARR: BIPARTISAN COALITION OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS ADDRESSING YOUTH SOCIAL MEDIA USE
Yesterday, Attorney General Chris Carr joined a bipartisan coalition of 52 attorneys general expressing strong support for the hearings being conducted by the U.S. Senate Committee addressing protection and safety of kids and teens using social media.
Attorneys general have been concerned over the impacts of social media on youth. Those concerns have grown with the recent research from Facebook’s own internal studies showing that social media is inflicting harm—in the form of increased mental distress, bullying, suicide, and other self-harm—on a significant number of kids.
“Available information indicates that the platforms’ algorithms are having real world consequences on children’s health, and that social media companies are continuing to utilize algorithms to maximize the time that children spend on the platforms, without regard to their well-being,” said Attorney General Carr. “If true, this is unacceptable and we will not hesitate to protect the children of Georgia from these practices.”
Yesterday’s letter recognizes the hearings will uncover critical information about the business practices that social media companies are using to gain the attention of more young people on their platforms. Attorneys general believe the current and future well-being of our nation’s youth is at stake.
The attorneys general write that “More engagement by the user equals more data to leverage for advertising, which equals greater profit. This prompts social media companies to design their algorithms and other features to psychologically manipulate young users into a state of addiction to their cell phone screens.”