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Biden calls out social media for affecting children’s mental health

Joe Biden
Joe Biden Image credit:

President Joe Biden singled out social media on Tuesday night in his State of the Union address saying the platforms should be made accountable for damaging children’s mental health.

'The evidence is mounting that social media plays a systemic role in worsening the mental health of countless young people,' the official said.

'The president believes tech companies should be held accountable for the harms they cause.' 

A series of studies show schoolchildren are lagging behind in maths and reading classes after lessons were interrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Mental Health America 15.08% of young people have suffered a mental illness crisis over the past twelve months, an increase of 1.24% from the previous year.

Over 2.5 million youngsters in America have said they have severe depression with the multiracial community being at greatest risk.

Biden called for a ban on advertising aimed at children, asked Congress to heighten privacy protections and instructed technology businesses to cease collecting personal information on young people.

The president also targeted social media platforms for their impact on children and their mental health.

‘This youth mental health crisis has been accentuated by large social media platforms, which for years have been conducting a national experiment on our children and using their data to keep them clicking - with enormous consequences,' a White House fact sheet noted.

Biden also announced a mental health strategy which included a $700 million investment in programs around training and supporting clinicians.

The US administration plans to launch a mental health crisis hotline in July.