Media Matters submitted a comment in response to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s request for input on the risks and harms to minors using online platforms. Media Matters called for social media companies to prioritize strengthening and adequately enforcing their community guidelines and to adopt a more proactive approach to creating and maintaining safe online spaces for young people.
On May 23, the Biden administration announced that it was forming an “interagency Task Force on Kids Online Health & Safety” in order to “advance the health, safety and privacy of minors online,” with “particular attention to preventing and mitigating the adverse health effects of online platforms on minors.” The announcement noted that “more than half of parents express concern over their children’s mental well-being,” and that “there is now undeniable evidence that social media and other online platforms have contributed to our youth mental health crisis.”
To inform the administration’s related work, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration requested comments from stakeholders “on current and emerging risks of health (including mental health), safety, and privacy harms to minors arising from use of online platforms.”
In response to the request, Media Matters documented harmful content on social media platforms that targets minors, including content which promotes disordered eating, advances dangerous medical misinformation and health scams, glamorizes extreme misogyny, and subjects LGBTQ youth to bullying, harassment, discrimination, and even violence.
Read Media Matters' public comment here: