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Darren asks experts whether social media and screens harm children

Darren was present at the Science and Technology committee’s third evidence session for its Social media and screens-use inquiry. Here, charities, learned societies and academics were asked about cyber-bullying, addiction and body image.

The first set of witnesses was Anna Clark, Cardinus Risk Management, Dr Vicky Goodyear, Lecturer in Pedagogy in Sport, Physical Activity and Health, University of Birmingham, Dr Heather Woods, Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Glasgow, Dr Max Davie, Officer for Health Promotion and Mental Health Lead, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and Professor Peter Fonagy, National Clinical Adviser on children and young people’s mental health, NHS England.

Darren asked them how we could verify children’s age for online purposes, given that many children do not own what makes this possible for adults (e.g. credit cards).

The second of witnesses was Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive, Internet Watch Foundation David Austin, CEO, British Board of Film Classification Emily Cherry, Assistant Director of Policy & Public Affairs, Barnardo’s.

Darren asked them whether the evidence base existed to prove the harm of screens and social media.

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