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Republican Lawmakers Ask Big Tech for Information About Their Effect on the Mental Health of Children


03.30.21

Washington, D.C.  Following the Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with Big Tech CEOs on March 25, 2021, Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican Subcommittee Leader for Communications and Technology Bob Latta, Republican Subcommittee Leader for Consumer Protection and Commerce Gus Bilirakis, and Republican Subcommittee Leader for Oversight and Investigations Morgan Griffith issued letters to Big Tech CEOs today requesting information regarding internal research or studies conducted by the companies to better understand their product’s effect on children’s mental health. 

Excerpts from the letters: 

“At the hearing, you were asked about any internal research or studies Facebook has conducted on the mental health of children. We are interested in any documents and related information regarding any internal research or study [your company] has conducted on the effect its products, including Instagram, have on children’s mental health. Accordingly, please respond to the following no later than April 16, 2021:

1.“Please produce complete copies of the following:

    • “Any internal research or study [your company] has conducted on the effect [your company’s] products have on children’s mental health.
    • “Any internal research or study [your company] has conducted on the effect [your company’s] products have on children’s mental health for ages under 13.
    • “Any internal research or study [your company] has conducted on the effect [your company’s] products have on children’s mental health for ages 13 to 18.
    • “Any internal research or study [your company] has conducted on the effect [your company’s] products have on users’ mental health for ages 18 and older.
    • “Any internal research or study [your company] has conducted on the effect [your company’s] products have on the health and well-being of children, including risks of child exploitation and trafficking.
    • “Any internal communications, including memorandums, emails, or other internal communications among [your company’s] employees, including outside contractors (e.g., content moderators) related to the effect of [your company’s] products on children’s mental health for ages under 13.
    • “Any internal communications, including memorandums, emails, or other internal communications among [your company’s] employees, including outside contractors (e.g., content moderators) related to the effect of [your company’s] products on children’s mental health for ages 13 to 18.
    • “Any internal communications, including memorandums, emails, or other internal communications among [your company’s] employees, including outside contractors (e.g., content moderators) related to the effect of [your company’s] products on users’ mental health for ages 18 and older.

2. “Please identify any outside entity [your company] has contracted with, is in the process of contracting with, or has plans to contract with to conduct research or produce studies on the effect [your company] products have on users’ mental health for each age range delineated above.

3. “Please produce complete copies of any research or study conducted by outside entities on behalf of [your company] regarding the effect of [your company] products on users’ mental health for each age range delineated above.

4. “Please provide any research or study [your company] has conducted on the impact competitors’ products have on children’s mental health for ages 13 and under.

5. “Please provide any research or studies [your company] has conducted on the impact competitors’ products have on children’s mental health for ages 13 to 18.”

CLICK HERE to read the letter to Facebook.

CLICK HERE to read the letter to Google.

CLICK HERE to read the letter to Twitter.

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