Perhaps the most poignant moment in a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing occurred when Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stood up and apologized to families in the hearing. Senator Josh Hawley wanted to know if he had apologized to the victims and then asked, “Would you do so now?”
The Facebook founder joined other social media leaders from TikTok, Snap, X, and Discord. Senators on both the right and left wanted to know what these executives and their companies would do to protect child safety. Many of the parents wore blue ribbons reading, “STOP Online Harms! Pass KOS!” That was a reference to legislation aimed at strengthening protections for kids online.
There’s no denying the negative impact social media is having on young people in America. In previous commentaries, I’ve documented the many studies that demonstrate the harm to young people who follow social media.
The solutions, however, are more difficult to find. Some companies allow parents to control and observe what their children are seeing and doing. Unfortunately, too few parents avail themselves of that opportunity.
Another idea has been to require app stores (like Apple and Google) to let parents approve of app downloads. Parents would be notified that young people wanted to download apps. And such a link might also provide parents with the option of activating controls on daily time limits and even which accounts they might be following.
The biggest issue is whether Congress should repeal Section 230 which currently shields platforms from lawsuits because they are a common carrier. Although there is always talk of repealing that section of the Communications Decency Act, I think it is unlikely Congress will do so.
The solution once again falls in the hands of parents, who need to monitor what their children see and hear.
This post originally appeared at https://pointofview.net/viewpoints/social-media-solutions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=social-media-solutions