The new moral panic: Social media

Source: The Hill
by Christopher Ferguson

“This year, my home state of Florida joined several other states in banning youth access to social media. … The bans (as well as multiple lawsuits) are predicated on the belief that using social media causes mental health harm to youth. But the outcomes of these cases may hinge upon the research evidence. Many parents and policymakers view the belief that social media use is harmful for youth to be common sense. However, many people thought the same about action video games causing school shootings (they don’t), or 1980s rock music causing Satanism and suicide (nope), or 1950s comic books causing delinquency and homosexuality (they didn’t). This is a phenomenon known as moral panic; new media or technology touches off an extreme fear reaction by older generations, including policymakers.” (05/09/24)