New York City mayor declares social media an 'environmental toxin'
Briefly

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has officially designated social media as a public health hazard and environmental toxin, stating that young people need to be protected from the harm it can cause. Adams claims that social media platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook are contributing to a mental health crisis by designing their platforms with addictive and dangerous features. He compared this move to the actions taken by the surgeon general in regard to tobacco and guns, emphasizing the need for tech companies to take responsibility for their products. Adams' classification of social media as a public health hazard is a first for a major American city.
"Today, Dr. Ashwin Vasan is issuing a Health Commissioner's Advisory, officially designating social media as a public health hazard in New York City," Adams announced during his State of the City address Wednesday.
The advisory from the city states that the mental health of young New Yorkers has been declining for over a decade. Recent data shows that 77% of high school students in New York City spend three or more hours per day on screens, excluding homework. The advisory specifically calls out platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook for designing their platforms with addictive and dangerous features that contribute to the mental health crisis. Mayor Adams' move to classify social media as a public health hazard aligns with the warning issued by Surgeon General Vivek Murthy in May 2023, which highlighted the profound risk of excessive social media use on youth mental health. While social media has both positive and negative effects on young people, the advisory states that there is not enough research and clear data to determine if it is safe for adolescents to use.
Adams claimed TikTok, YouTube and Facebook are "fueling a mental health crisis by designing their platforms with addictive and dangerous features."
Read at ABC News
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