Today Jeremy Hunt published a letter in the “Sunday Times” addressing social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, explaining the impact on children which is not usually taken into account.
Hunt gave them a one-month deadline to report on what will be done to protect the children. Minister of Culture, Media and Sports Matthew Hancock, is considering tightening the legislation.
It is morally wrong for companies to do nothing about this when thousands of users breach the terms and conditions, and secondary effects on children are not taken into account.
Currently, the minimum age to access Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat is thirteen, although the latter has a version for children under 13.
The President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the United Kingdom, Wendy Burn, agreed with the Minister when she considered that “the self-regulation” of social networks in this area “has failed”.
For his part, Facebook’s policy director, Karim Palant, said that he “Welcomes the commitment of the Minister of Health” and assured that “he shares his ambition to create a safe and supportive environment for young people “online”.
Next week, Matthew Hancock will meet with seventeen representatives of the most popular social media networks among those under the age of eighteen, including Facebook, Google, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest to address this issue.
“If we can not trust their policies, we must take action and not hesitate to toughen the law,” said Hancock