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US top health official calls for more regulations on minors’ use of internet platforms

The United States surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, has warned that social media can have a “profound risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children”, calling for more regulations and research on minors’ access to the internet platforms.

In a report released on Tuesday, the US spokesperson on public health drew on existing research to outline social media’s effects on children.

Murphy highlighted potential harms to children and teenagers from social media use, including sleep deprivation, mental health issues, cyberbullying, access to extreme content and being susceptible to predatory behaviour from adults.

The report added that children and teenagers are particularly vulnerable to the impact of social media because they are undergoing a “highly sensitive period of brain development”.

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