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You can help protect kids online

Social media companies are putting our kids at risk. We must hold them accountable. It’s up to us.

The reality of social media

Social media platforms are addictive by design, posing a real danger to children.

The average kid in the US now spends almost 5 hours a day on social media. They often get bombarded with content about extremism, violence, self-harm, or drugs.

Unaccountable tech companies have put virtually zero protections in place to stop kids from being pulled into endless cycles of negativity, depression, and self-hatred. What's worse, these companies make billions of dollars at the expense of our children's mental health and safety.

We can't let social media giants contaminate our kids. Change is possible, but it needs our collective voices to demand a safer internet for all.

The harms our kids face online

Parents Guide: Practical advice to help navigate your kids' Internet usage

The Center for Countering Digital Hate's Parents Guide combines our groundbreaking research with advice compiled from stakeholders and experts, to help you navigate social media safely with your kids.

The guide seeks to help you understand what your kids may be exposed to, how to set boundaries, have conversations about what they see online, and where to go if you need further help.

State of social media & our kids

What is the state of social media right now?

On average, a US teen spends nearly 5 hours each day on social media. And while social media platforms say that users must be at least 13 years old, research suggests that nearly 40% of 8-12 year-olds use social media.

This section of the Parents Guide takes you through the key facts you need to know to understand the platforms your kids are on, what an algorithm is, and how it curates the content your kids see online.

Known Harms to Kids Online

From child sexual exploitation, kids' mental health, the prevalence of online steroids, or toxic masculinity and the 'manosphere'.

This section, informed by the research of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, gives you an idea of the kind of harms your child may encounter online and what we know.

Practical Advice for Parents or Guardians

Understand how to have conversations with your kids about the harms they may encounter, some advice about setting boundaries and space for open conversation.

And understand the tools that exist to help you protect your kids online.

Additional Resources

In this section we provide additional specialist resources that you may need such as support groups in the US, UK, Canada and internationally.

Download our Parents Guide

Enter your email to get a copy of the Parents Guide so that you can keep it, print it, and reference back to it whenever you need it.

This is how we make social media safer

STAR Framework

We need to reset our relationship with technology companies and collectively legislate to address the systems that amplify hate and dangerous misinformation around the globe. The STAR Framework draws on the most important elements for achieving this: Safety by Design, Transparency, Accountability and Responsibility.

About the Center for Countering Digital Hate

The Center for Countering Digital Hate is a nonprofit with offices in Washington D.C and the UK. We protect human rights and civil liberties online by tackling the spread of hate and disinformation.

More of our research into online harms to children

Harms in the Metaverse

tiktok phone and eye

Harms on TikTok

Incels & toxic manosphere

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You can help protect kids online.
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