A Guide to Parent Controls on Social Media

A Guide to Parent Controls on Social Media

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A Guide to Parent Controls on Social Media

In today's digital age, children are increasingly exposed to various social media platforms, which can present numerous risks to your child’s safety. As a concerned parent, it's helpful to understand the importance of implementing effective parental controls to safeguard your children's online experiences. 

As the country’s largest personal injury law firm, Morgan & Morgan has spent over 20 years fighting For the People and helping those who have been harmed get the means necessary to move forward with their lives. We also want to help spread awareness for preventative measures so that you won’t require our legal services and can enjoy a healthy, safe family.

Our guide to parent controls on social media can be a helpful resource for how to keep your children out of harm’s way while using social media. From cyberbullying and inappropriate content to online predators, there are numerous dangers lurking online that you can help your child steer clear from.

In the unfortunate event that your child experiences harm on social media, however, don’t hesitate to contact Morgan & Morgan right away for help. We can offer a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get you started.

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  • What Are Parent Controls on Social Media?

    Giving a preteen or teenager access to social media is something that many parents contemplate, particularly when their children are putting pressure on parents for permission. Many social media websites will allow someone to form an account once they reach age 13, but the sites verify this with different social media platforms to determine if this is accurate. There are many reasons why you may be concerned about your child having a social media profile, so it is well worth the effort to look into a guide to parental controls on social media and to take every proactive step you can to keep your child safe. 

    There are numerous benefits to using parental controls. Social media harm is a serious issue and one that affects kids all over the world. The increased reliance on social media and daily use has multiple possible impacts on children, especially when it comes to mental health. That's why a guide to parent controls on social media can help parents make informed decisions about how their children use social media apps and websites. 

    Today, many parents have to deal with the Fallout of various forms of social media harm. This can include a child experiencing outright bullying or even a child beginning to show signs of anxiety, depression, or even suicidal thoughts. All of these are serious issues that may relate back to your child's underlying physical and mental health, and if your child has already taken negative actions that have harmed their health, you may have grounds for a social media harm lawsuit. 

    Instagram

    Instagram has an educational resource hub for parents with articles and expert tips on user safety. Furthermore, Instagram comes with a tool that allows guardians to set time limits for how much time minors spend on Instagram and to see reports of how much time is logged on the app. Parents can also get updates on the accounts that follow their children, as well as the accounts their children follow, and can see if their child attempts to make an update to the account or privacy setting. 

    Additionally, parents are able to see which other users on Instagram their child has blocked and can view video tutorials for parents to help implement these new supervision tools. 

    Snapchat

    Snapchat features a hub and parent guide that is designed to give guardians more insight into how their teenagers are using the app, including who they've had conversations with in the past week. Parents cannot see the content of those conversations, however, but may be able to see more about who their child is communicating with via Snapchat. 

    There are also a few other safety measures for young users, such as requiring teens to be mutual friends before they're able to start communicating with each other and prohibiting them from having public profiles. Teens have a location-sharing tool that is turned off by default, but it can disclose their real-time location with a friend or family member while the app is closed as a safety precaution. 

    Another tool developed by Snapchat is known as the “friend checkup” tool, which encourages users to look at their existing connections on the platform and to determine whether they still want to remain connected to that person.

    Facebook

    Facebook maintains a safety center that has many resources and supervision tools from leading experts. The hub includes parental supervision tools developed by the nonprofit Connect Safely, which helps parents to see which accounts their teens have blocked. Parents can also use supervision tools and approve download or app purchases that are blocked by default, based on whether the tool may be inappropriate or based on its overall rating.

    TikTok

    A new maturity score was added to videos to help prevent the viewing of materials with complex or mature teens. People can also decide how much time they want to spend on TikTok. This tool lets users establish regular screen time breaks and features a dashboard that displays a user’s nighttime and daytime usage and how many times they've attempted to open the app overall. 

    Parents and teens can also customize their safety settings using a family pairing hub. A parent’s TikTok account can be used to establish parental controls, like restricting certain content exposure, determining if teens can search for live content, hashtags, or videos, establishing whether the account is public or private, and  reviewing how much time can be spent on the app each day. 

    The app can also block some features for younger users, such as direct messaging or live viewing. When a teen under the age of 16 is eligible to publish their first video, a pop-up will ask them to determine who they want to be able to see it. Push notifications are also blocked at 10 p.m. for users ages 16 and 17, and at 9 p.m. for users ages 13 to 15.

  • What Is Social Media Harm?

    Development of an eating disorder, body dysmorphia, attempted suicide, suicide, or other mental health conditions may be associated with social media harm. Social media companies and their platforms may have contributed to an increased risk of harmful behaviors in minor children. Some lawsuits are attempting to hold these social media companies accountable for exposing children to unnecessary risks that develop into mental health issues.

    The conversation about social media and its possible impacts on society and individual teens and users is still ongoing, but this is why you need to be prepared to have a conversation with your loved ones about how they use social media. This is most relevant for parents of teens and preteens who are leveraging social media on a daily basis, but it is beneficial to think about the pros and cons of using social media in a general way as well. 

    Some people have even taken proactive steps to delete social media apps from their phones, restrict their privacy settings on these apps, or remove the social media apps altogether due to their concerns about social media harm and other issues. While you certainly don't have to take it to that level to safely use social media, finding a level plan that you and your loved ones can work with is beneficial for you. 

  • What Is a Social Media Harm Lawsuit?

    A social media harm lawsuit refers to a legal action taken by an individual or entity against another party for the harm caused as a result of content posted or shared on social media platforms. In these cases, the plaintiff alleges that they have suffered damages, such as reputational harm, emotional distress, or financial losses, due to defamatory, false, or malicious statements, images, or actions propagated on social media.

    These lawsuits typically involve claims such as defamation, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, or copyright infringement, depending on the specific circumstances and applicable laws. The plaintiff seeks legal remedies, such as monetary compensation or injunctive relief, to address the harm caused by the social media content.

    To pursue a social media harm lawsuit successfully, the plaintiff generally needs to establish that the defendant made false statements or engaged in harmful conduct, that the statements or conduct were published on social media platforms, that the content caused harm, and that the harm suffered was a direct result of the defendant's actions.

    It's worth noting that the legal requirements and potential outcomes of social media harm lawsuits can vary depending on the jurisdiction and specific circumstances. Consulting with an experienced attorney who specializes in defamation or internet law is crucial for understanding the legal options and navigating the complexities associated with these types of lawsuits.

    A social media company can also potentially be held liable for social media harm under certain circumstances. While social media companies generally enjoy certain legal protections as intermediaries or platforms under laws such as Section 230 in the United States, there are situations where they can be held accountable for the harm caused by content on their platforms. Here are a few scenarios:

    1. Negligence in Content Moderation: If a social media company fails to implement reasonable content moderation practices and policies, allowing harmful or illegal content to proliferate on their platform, they may be held responsible for the resulting harm. This could include instances of failure to remove defamatory or abusive content, hate speech, or explicit material that causes harm to individuals or organizations.
    2. Breach of Privacy or Data Protection: If a social media company mishandles user data, fails to secure private information, or improperly shares user data with third parties, resulting in harm such as identity theft, reputational damage, or financial losses, they may be held accountable for the harm caused by their data practices.
    3. Failure to Remove Illegal Content: Social media companies can be held liable if they knowingly allow or refuse to remove illegal content, such as copyright infringement, child exploitation, or terrorist propaganda, despite being made aware of its presence on their platform.
    4. Algorithmic Bias or Discrimination: If a social media company's algorithms or automated systems perpetuate discrimination, bias, or amplify harmful content, they may be subject to legal action for the harm caused as a result.

    It's important to note that the legal landscape regarding social media company liability can vary across jurisdictions, and laws are continuously evolving to address the challenges posed by social media platforms. Consulting with a qualified attorney who specializes in internet law or privacy law is essential to understand the specific legal obligations and potential liabilities of social media companies in a given jurisdiction.

  • Should I File a Lawsuit?

    Many parents involved in these social media harm lawsuits claim that the platforms knew that their companies could cause these issues but failed to take proactive steps or to warn users about the risks. Internal company notes and published studies link social media use to mental health problems among teenagers and children, such as low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and social media addiction. 

    Some lawsuits against these social media companies argue that certain companies had internal research illustrating just how dangerous social media use could be but still promoted these apps or even made them more addictive. 

    If you or someone you love are dealing with the fallout of social media harm, contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to take your first steps toward justice. You may be entitled to compensation, and we may be able to fight for you.

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