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October 5, 2021
LANSING - Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a bipartisan coalition of 52 attorneys general expressing strong support for the hearings being conducted by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security addressing protection and safety of kids and teens using social media.
The hearings come as Facebook announced Sept. 27 plans to pause, but not abandon, the development of Instagram Kids, which Nessel addressed last week following the first hearing on this issue. A second hearing is happening this morning and can be streamed online.
In its letter, sent late yesterday, the coalition noted concerns over the impacts of social media on youth. Those concerns have grown with the recent research from Facebook's own internal studies showing that social media is inflicting harm-in the form of increased mental distress, bullying, suicide, and other self-harm-on a significant number of kids.
The coalition states, "More engagement by the user equals more data to leverage for advertising, which equals greater profit. This prompts social media companies to design their algorithms and other features to psychologically manipulate young users into a state of addiction to their cell phone screens."
"These hearings deserve our attention as our federal lawmakers further expose Facebook's own internal data which makes clear the negative impact social media has on our youth while the company profits," Nessel said. "I urge Michiganders to take note of what comes out of these hearings and use it to better inform the access we give kids to the internet and phones at a young age."
More information on the subcommittee and planned hearings can be found online.