Lawmakers, DMV parents working to address negative impacts of social media on teens

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are proposing new ways to make children safer online while local parents turn to the courts to try and change how social media negatively affects teens.

Social media is harming young Americans, a rare issue that gets bipartisan support among lawmakers. The risks online range from drug dealers who use Snapchat to sell Fentanyl-laced products to sexual predators abusing minors to companies exploiting kids' dependency on the platforms.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Tuesday focusing on how to tackle those harms nationwide. 

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Emma Lembke is originally from Alabama and created the organization Log Off to encourage teenage social media users and their parents to recognize the signs of dependency and learn how to navigate an online world.

Lembke's testimony at the hearing echoes the experience of Annapolis mom Apriel Dorsey who is suing Facebook for what happened to her 13-year-old daughter.

In her complaint, Dorsey says her daughter became addicted to the platform, began losing sleep and ultimately tried to kill herself.

A Fairfax mom is suing Meta platforms and Instagram on behalf of her 14-year-old daughter who developed anorexia and binge-eating disorders after becoming addicted to the platform.

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Next week, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could determine whether big companies like Meta and Snap Inc. can be held liable in court for these kinds of harm.

Right now, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act makes it difficult to sue internet service providers. The Court could decide whether that continues to be the case.