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Government should monitor social media: Eric Feinberg

(NewsNation) —  Research has shown that young people who use social media are three times more likely to suffer from depression, which can lead to suicidal thoughts if left untreated, according to experts.

Despite growing concern from parents, social media companies argue they keep their platforms safe.

Eric Feinberg, vice president of content moderation with the Coalition for a Safer Web, believes an “FAA equivalent” should be monitoring social media companies.

“Why don’t we have an agency to monitor social media companies?” Feinberg said during an appearance on “Elizabeth Vargas Reports.” “We have the ability to regulate other industries. Why isn’t social media regulated?”

A federal judge Tuesday issued an order temporarily halting enforcement of a pending Ohio law that would require children to get parental consent to use social media apps. U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley’s temporary restraining order came in a lawsuit brought by NetChoice, a trade group representing TikTok, Snapchat, Meta and other major tech companies.

The litigation argues that the law unconstitutionally impedes free speech and is overbroad and vague. Idaho could be the next state to restrict children’s social media use.

Feinberg says he “commends the states” for trying to get involved in social media regulation but says “it’s really the federal government” that should intervene.

There’s a lot of money at stake for social media platforms. A Harvard study found that social media companies made more than $11 billion in advertisement sales from minors last year. Feinberg says the advertisers are part of the problem.

“Why are the advertisers, corporate America, continuing to support this? … They keep pouring billions of dollars into it. They have an ability to make change too, but they continue to go along for the ride,” Feinberg said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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