In recent years, mental health trends have been extremely concerning, especially amongst teenagers and young adults. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated mental health issues and caused scholars to consider the role social media companies play in the relationship between social media and mental health. A recent Ninth Circuit decision reveals holes in a federal statute that has historically protected social media platforms from liability. This case solidifies that this statutory protection is not absolute. Accordingly, Congress must hold social media companies accountable for aspects they control in designing their platforms to create a safer environment online. Legislation aimed at policing algorithms would save lives by forcing companies to redesign addictive algorithms to avoid features of social media that companies know negatively affect mental health.
Author: McGee Roman
Volume 24, Issue 2