Major report declines to recommend banning social media for youth

A committee of experts declined to recommend banning social media for youth 18 and younger in a report issued Wednesday. Convened by the nonprofit National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the committee reviewed numerous studies on the topic of youth health and social media use and found that most of the research shows only an association between a range of online behaviors and different physical and mental health outcomes. In the absence of research demonstrating a compelling cause-and-effect relationship, the committee recommended further research as well as the creation of strong industry standards for social media platform design, transparency, and data use. Earlier this year, Congress heard testimony from parents who supported bipartisan legislation banning social media for youth younger than 13, in addition to a requirement that older minors receive permission from their parents before opening a social media account. There have been separate attempts in the U.S. to ban TikTok, typically for cybersecurity reasons. The committee, comprising 11 experts with backgrounds in computer science, psychology, public health, social connection, and other related topics, called for a more measured approach.”While some users, using social media in particular ways, may have their mental health adversely affected, for many others there will be no such harm, and for others still the experience will be helpful,” the committee members wrote in a comprehensive report. “This suggested to the committee a judicious approach to protect youth mental health is warranted [rather] than some of the more broad-stroke bans that have been proposed…Major report declines to recommend banning social media for youth