Jeremy Hunt Targets Social Media
Jeremy Hunt accuses social media firms of 'turning a blind eye' to their impact on children.
16:06 24 April 2018
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has threatened social media firms with new child-protection laws for their alleged failure in addressing their impact on children. He gives them until the end of the month to come up with an action plan on how to cut underage use, prevent cyber bullying and promote healthy screen time.
In a letter to social media firms, Mr Hunt wrote: "I am concerned that your companies seem content with a situation where thousands of users breach your own terms and conditions on the minimum user age.
"I fear that you are collectively turning a blind eye to a whole generation of children being exposed to the harmful emotional side effects of social media prematurely.
"This is both morally wrong and deeply unfair to parents who are faced with the invidious choice of allowing children to use platforms they are too young to access or excluding them from social interaction that often the majority of their peers are engaging in."
Mr Hunt has met with social media companies last year to discuss ways on how to improve the mental health of young people who use the technology. Although there were “a few welcome moves”, Mr Hunt said that the overall response had been “extremely limited.”
"None are easy issues to solve I realise, but an industry that boasts some of the brightest minds and biggest budgets should have been able to rise to the challenge," said Mr Hunt.