Teachers' Union Calls for Social Media Investigation
Monday, June 5, 2023
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is brushing off calls to investigate the effect its social media platforms have on children's mental health.
Last week shareholders rejected a proposal to hire an independent law firm to evaluate the effectiveness of Meta's audit and risk oversight committee.
The resolution alleges the company regularly breaks pledges to remove content harmful to children.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten spoke out in favor of the resolution.
"In classrooms and communities across the country," said Weingarten, "AFT members are witnessing firsthand the impact of students suffering from anxiety, bullying, trauma, body dysmorphia and the eating disorders - as a direct result of exposure to images on Instagram, as well as the violence glorified on Meta's platforms."
Meta's proxy statement advised a "no" vote, saying the company already prohibits harmful content and provides parents tools to monitor their children's activity online.
Last week the U.S. Surgeon General issued a 19 page advisory on adolescent social media use, saying it is predictive of a decrease in life satisfaction for girls 11 to 13 years old and boys 14 to 15.
Weingarten is a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council. The labor organization's pension fund holds significant shares in the company, and it introduced the resolution at last week's Meta shareholder's meeting.
She said we need more clarity on what Meta is doing to protect children.
"While Meta's audit and risk oversight committee is charged with evaluating risks," said Weingarten, "shareholders have no idea how the committee operates, what information it considers or whether it just cedes its authority entirely to CEO Mark Zuckerberg."
The White House recently called for changes, alleging that Meta uses "manipulative design techniques embedded in their products to promote addictive and compulsive use by young people to generate more revenue."
The Federal Trade Commission is calling for a ban on collecting young children's data.
get more stories like this via email
A California group formed after the firestorm that leveled the town of Paradise is stepping up to help Maui recover from its own disaster last month…
Skills for reducing violence are becoming essential in schools. At the beginning of the school year, students at a Washington state high school …
The age-old theory that opposites attract has been debunked. According to analysis of more than 130 traits in a study that included millions of …
A new report questions New York City Mayor Eric Adams' latest budget proposal for dealing with the city's influx of over 110,000 migrants. The cost …
A federal judge has blocked a 2022 Arizona law that voting-rights advocates say would have made it harder for some Native Americans to vote. House …
Thousands of U.S. auto workers remain on strike, and the walkout is being felt in Minnesota. A rally was scheduled this morning in the Twin Cities …
If states like Minnesota are going to meet their climate goals, experts say younger workers will need to step into the roles to make it happen - like …
Health and Wellness
In rural Arkansas, access to healthcare can be a distant dream - literally - as almost 60 counties in the state do not have enough providers to serve …