13 Investigates


13 Investigates: Social media companies face more pushback from law enforcement, including Nevada AG

Attorneys general call for parental controls
Social media
Social media
Posted at 3:41 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 22:43:02-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Social media giants are facing more pushback from law enforcement. Nevada's attorney general is joining the call for more parental control over what their kids are doing online.

13 Investigates has the new information following our recent report about the dissatisfaction so many have with social media.

When most of us signed up on a social media site for the first time, it looked like an exciting new way to stay connected with family and reconnect with old friends. But for many, especially our youth, too much time on the platforms can be toxic. So once again, Attorneys General across the country are pushing for change.

13 INVESTIGATES: What can be done to stop social media's toxic turn?

The targets are TikTok and Snapchat.

Attorneys General from nearly every state, including Nevada's Aaron Ford, fired off a letter to the tech companies urging that parental control apps be made available.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Kim Taylor says that is key.

"Parents really have to be paying attention," said Taylor. "They have to be monitoring. They have to be having conversation with their kids."

The Attorneys General letter reads in part:

"Parental control apps can alert parents or schools to messages and posts on your platforms that have the potential to be harmful and dangerous. Apps can also alert parents if their child manifests a desire for self-harm or suicide."

Entrepreneur Henry Asulin is developing a social media platform committed to family connection.

"The reality is that people that are younger teenagers, people that have had a phone for only a few years, they don't have experience before they go onto these platforms with what these platforms are capable of," Asulin said.

The new letter to TikTok and Snapchat comes less than 30 days after a group of attorneys general announced they're investigating TikTok about the harms that platform could be causing and what the company knew about those harms.

"We need to make sure that our children and our grandchildren are using technology in a safe way that is going to be good for them and safe for them, not only today, but in five years from now," Asulin said.

About this new call for parental control apps, a TikTok spokesperson provided the following statement:

"We build youth well-being into our policies, limit features by age, and empower parents with tools and resources to customize their TikTok experience to their unique needs and circumstances. We appreciate that the state attorneys general are focusing on

the safety of younger users, and we look forward to engaging with them on our existing features like Family Pairing and ideas for innovation in this area."

And a spokesperson from Snapchat provided this statement:

"We absolutely understand the concerns of parents who want more insight into what their teens are doing on Snapchat and, most importantly, who they're talking to. We're currently developing new tools for parents that will provide them with more insight and visibility into how their children are engaging on Snapchat and ways to report troubling content. We look forward to providing these tools in the coming months."

There is still no word on how long the attorneys general investigation into TikTok will take, but we will stay on it and get you the results.

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