Social Media, Self Harm And Teenagers – Causation Matters Rather

Demos tells us that teens who fiddle with social media for three hours or more a day are more likely to self harm. Also, that girls are more likely to do so than boys. Well, OK, interesting observation. But we know what’s coming next, don’t we, this being Demos and all. Someone must do something! Likely, the social media firms will have to do something. Which isn’t something that follows from the observation at all:

Teenagers who spend three or more hours a day on social media are twice as likely to self-harm, according to one of the most comprehensive studies ever of tech’s impact on children’s mental health.

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Memo To Matt Hancock – Purges Of Information On Self Harm Don’t Work On The Internet

That the world doesn’t quite work as those who would plan it think it does is of course a commonplace – it’s why that scientific socialism doesn’t work. This is a lesson that Mike Hancock, who is at least nominally a Conservative and thus possibly a conservative, should know. Apparently he doesn’t. For he’s demanding that the social media companies purge all their pages of material promoting self harm and suicide.

If that basic theory isn’t convincing then perhaps what happened to one of his colleagues might have more influence?…

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