By Greg Mullen
Photo by: Katerina Holmes
Social media platforms are facing added scrutiny for their practices and engagement with youth in the wake of growing concern about the adverse effects of online activity.
In the biggest challenge to operators of social platforms to date, 33 states recently filed a joint federal suit in California against Meta Platforms Inc. alleging the company is deliberately harming young people and contributing to a mental health crisis by designing features on Instagram and Facebook that attract and bind children to its platforms.
The suit claims that Meta routinely collects data on children under 13 without parental consent, in violation of federal law, as part of a broader “scheme to exploit young users for profit.”
Such practices have been on the radar of SafeOC, which has warned parents about the myriad online dangers children face online. From fraud to sexual exploitation to cyberbullying to hate and extremist recruiting, internet users navigate a sometimes dangerous minefield amid useful and entertaining content. The SafeOC website also highlights the most popular apps used by young individuals and the varying dangers and security settings parents can use to protect their children.