Fairplay’s Josh Golin at the National Academies

by Kia Ansine

The first and only policy to protect kids on the internet was passed nearly 25 years ago. It was created before social media platforms even existed, and consequently, provides very limited protections for this current generation of children online.

However, an ever-increasing number of research studies are revealing just how harmful certain design features and marketing ploys devised by social media companies are to the mental health and well-being of teens. Now, more than ever, policymakers need our nation’s prominent research bodies to publish clear statements of the harms that certain design features are having on children and teens in order to put regulations on these companies in order to protect our children.

Fairplay’s Executive Director, Josh Golin, presented in front of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on April 6, 2023, where he discussed how current features on online platforms are designed to exacerbate social pressure, encourage risky behavior, and keep children and teens scrolling through their feed or playing yet another level of a game.

Watch the video below to be clued in on the current marketing strategies used by online platforms to keep kids constantly engaged. Josh speaks to the harm that these strategies are having on the well-being of our kids and the status of current policy efforts being made to put practical and timely regulations to hold companies accountable for designing platforms that are actually safe for kids.

This is clip from the recorded session Assessment of the Impact of Social Media on the Health and Wellbeing of Adolescents and Children (Meeting 4). To view the full session, click here.