U.S. Surgeon General: Social media needs a warning label

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy announced Monday that he believes social media platforms should come with a warning label, in an effort to help protect young people from related mental health risks.”A surgeon general’s warning label, which requires congressional action, would regularly remind parents and adolescents that social media has not been proved safe,” Murthy wrote in a New York Times opinion essay.Tobacco products sold in the U.S. have long displayed a surgeon general’s warning label. Murthy said that research studies have demonstrated that warning labels can “increase awareness and change behavior.” SEE ALSO: How to ask a teen if they’re feeling suicidal He also cited a 2023 survey of 558 Latino parents as evidence that a warning label could be effective. When presented with a brief prompt about the risks of social media for youth, three-quarters of respondents said they were more likely to act, including by limiting or monitoring their social media use. This is not the first time Murthy has emphasized the potential harm of youth social media use. A year ago, he issued a 19-page advisory that outlined how social media can expose children to violence, sexual and hate-based content, disordered eating, bullying, and predatory and self-harming behaviors. Some critics believe the focus on social media and youth mental health amounts to a 21st-century moral panic, citing weak associations between poorer mental health and certain types of online engagement. But Murthy argued that spiraling youth well-being may very well be connected to the amount of…U.S. Surgeon General: Social media needs a warning label