Surgeon General demands warning label on social media apps

CNN – Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said the threat social media poses to children requires urgent action, and he demanded Congress to put a label on the apps as it does with cigarettes and alcohol.

“The mental health crisis among young people is an emergency — and social media has emerged as an important contributor,” Murthy said in an op-ed in the New York Times Monday.

Murthy pointed to several studies, including a 2019 American Medical Association study published in JAMA that showed teens who spend three hours a day on social media double their risk of depression. Teens spend nearly five hours a day on social media apps, according to a Gallup poll.

But Murthy cannot act unilaterally to put a warning label on apps — that requirement would have to come from Congress, with whom Murthy pleaded to take urgent action.

“It is time to require a surgeon general’s warning label on social media platforms, stating that social media is associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents,” Murthy said. “A surgeon general’s warning label, which requires congressional action, would regularly remind parents and adolescents that social media has not been proved safe.”

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

Similar labels on tobacco, first instituted in 1965, led to a steady decline in cigarette smoking in America over the past several decades.

Congress has long chastised social media companies, claiming they pose harm to children. CEOs of tech companies have been grilled routinely on Capitol Hill, most notably Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg — who publicly apologized to families whose children killed themselves because of online bullying and harassment. But Congress has taken little action to curb children’s social media usage.

Murthy argued that it’s time for Congress to get serious about curbing children’s use of social media.

“Not only have companies not demonstrated that their platforms are not safe for kids, but there’s growing evidence of harm,” Murthy said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show …


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -