“We need to be careful to not use social media as our societal scapegoat,” Dr. Wisniewski talks to News2 in lieu of Tennesse school district suing big tech companies like Snapchat and TikTok.
Dr. Wisniewski said these platforms also allow marginalized groups like LGBTQ teens and those on the autism spectrum to connect with their peers. Still, she sees the need for improvements as well. Her researchers are working to create new algorithms that detect cyberbullying and sexual solicitation among teens, instead of banning teens from social media altogether.
“If we start shutting down social media and banning TikTok, and not letting our kids be on it because they have to be 18 or older, guess what? They are going to lie about their age; they’re going to get burner phones; they’re going to do things that are outside the parameters. And, that usually puts them in more harm’s way because there are less safety mechanisms in those black-market, back doors,” said Wisniewski.
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