Head of NHS Urges Social Media Companies to Take Responsibility for “Semi-Addictive & Manipulative Online Activities”

Img: NHS England 
Experts have long warned of the link between the excessive or misguided use of social media platforms and potentially damaging mental health issues. The younger members of society are particularly susceptible to such dangers, yet the companies providing these platforms continue to face accusations of failing to live up to their responsibilities in regards to protecting children and teenagers online. Clearly progress needs to be made.

This certainly seems to be the view of Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, who recently told The Telegraph, “Social media companies must face up to their responsibilities. There is emerging evidence of a link between semi-addictive and manipulative online activities and mental health pressures on our teenagers and young people.

“Parents are only too aware of the insidious grip that some of these activities can have on young people’s lives.”

For Mr Stevens however it is not enough to work only with those already affected by these increasingly apparent issues; effective prevention is a must if long-term success is to be achieved.

“We need to think about prevention as well as cure so that families and the NHS are not just left to pick up the pieces,” he said.

“Companies have a responsibility not just to put in place appropriate protections for children but to do their bit to increase our understanding of these issues.”

The NHS as a whole is already taking steps towards improving the situation as best they can, expanding their mental health services in the hope of assisting those in need even earlier; however without the co-operation of those believed to be at the source the organisation is facing an uphill battle.

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