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In State of the Union, Biden Vows to Curb Social Media Harms

Biden addressed the mental health harms of social media use on children and teens

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden referred to the harms of social media in his State of the Union address, announcing policy proposals to curb those harms. In response, however, some have been critical of the president’s remarks, accusing him of ignoring social media’s deeper dangers. Over an hour into his speech, President Biden turned to mental health and the emotional toll the pandemic has had, especially on children. Then he turned to the emotional health toll exacted by social media, long before the first COVID-19 lockdowns. “Children were also struggling before the pandemic – bullying, violence, trauma, and the harms of social media,” he said. “It’s time to strengthen privacy protections, ban targeted advertising to children, demand tech companies stop…

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Pre-adolescent teen girl texting on a smartphone lying in bed at home. Candid indoor photo withFocus on the foreground and copy space

Facebook’s…Er, Meta’s Instagram Problem

Despite employee-recommended solutions, Facebook has largely turned a blind eye to the harms their own algorithms have caused in teenage girls using Instagram

The Wall Street Journal’s series of articles based on leaked internal documents from Facebook, Inc. (now Meta Platforms, Inc.) gave us a peek inside the company’s business model, including what the company knew about Instagram’s harmful mental health effects on teen girls.*  Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, provided thousands of pages of internal documents and Slack conversations to the Wall Street Journal’s Jeff Horwitz, and has since made the documents available to other media outlets. Gizmodo is working with a group of experts to make the documents public, which can be viewed here. On October 5th, Haugen testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Facebook’s lack of transparency regarding the harms of its platforms. The full testimony can be seen in the video below. Haugen…