Published October 08, 2021 16:00
We know Facebook can do more to protect our kids and teens on their platforms.
We see firsthand the negative impact social media is having on young people, from body image issues to depression and anxiety, online bullying to rampant misinformation.
BGC Ottawa (formerly Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa) has an almost one-hundred-year history of serving young people.
Adam Joiner, BGC Ottawa CEO says, “We stand in solidarity with BGC Canada, and other Clubs in calling on Facebook to protect our young people from the preventable hazards of their platform. That is why we will be participating in a week-long boycott of the social media channel.”
Today, with our partners BGC Canada and Clubs across the nations we stand with one voice to say Facebook must do better. A global company of this size can move faster, must move faster. Young people deserve better.
What needs to change:
- Facebook needs to be better at policing users under 13 and improving verification processes; the federal government should also develop regulations to ensure these verification processes are rigorous and mandatory across social media platforms.
- Facebook should be liable for negative, false, or damaging content that their algorithms promote e.g. promotion of eating disorders, bullying, predatory behaviour, etc
- Youth should have the right to be forgotten at age 18—their prior social media life could be disconnected and archived, viewable to them only, and a fresh profile would start again at that stage.
As we recognize International #DayOfTheGirl, #WorldMentalHealthDay, and Mental Illness Awareness Week #MIAW21, we are taking a pause from Facebook and Instagram this week and asking them to do more to protect our young people.
BGC Canada, our partners, and our Club will not be posting on Facebook or Instagram until October 16th. We hope our collective silence will speak loudly.