KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A coalition of 52 attorneys general is showing support for hearings last week’s Senate hearings on protecting children on social media.
Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III is one of six leading the bipartisan coalition. In a letter to the subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security the attorneys general pointed specifically to a Wall Street Journal article outlining Facebook’s algorithms designed to attract greater youth engagement.
“Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that Facebook is doing all of this knowing its own internal studies show the resulting harm – increased mental distress, bullying, contemplation of suicide, and other self-harm – on a significant number of children, with a particularly negative impact on young girls,” the letter reads.
To read the letter, click here: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/attorneygeneral/documents/pr/2021/pr21-39-letter.pdf
The attorney generals are calling on Facebook to stop its plans to establish an Instagram platform for young children. Facebook said it was “pausing” the project toward children under 13.
“All of us – especially those in charge of the safety and security of children and teenagers – deserve to know exactly how social media platforms are attracting and retaining the attention of more young people in order to monetize their business,” said General Slatery.
The subcommittee of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation grilled Facebook on Sept. 30.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., put it blatantly, saying, “We don’t trust you,” and accused the company of putting profits ahead of safety.