Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, responding to Jeremy Hunt’s intervention on children and social media, said:
“For some time now I’ve been calling on the social media giants to be more transparent and to accept more responsibility for the huge impact they are having on children. While the internet gives children many positive experiences, I am worried that too many are starting secondary school unable to cope with the sudden demands of social media.
“It is clear that social media companies are still not doing enough to stop under-13s using their platforms in the first place. I want to see new technology being developed for age verification at 18 also used to prevent under 13s from using platforms that they are too young to use.
“If we don’t act now we risk seeing a generation of children growing up chasing ‘likes’ to make them feel happy, worried about their appearance and image as a result of the unrealistic lifestyles they follow on apps like Instagram and Snapchat, and anxious about switching off their devices due to the constant demands of social media.”