New Harvard Study Calls For Greater Regulation Of Social Media After Companies Generate Over $11 Billion From Targeted Advertising Of Minors

A new study from Harvard is shedding light on the great need for regulation of social media after companies in the US managed to generate billions in profit through targeted ads for minors.

The news is alarming as confirmed in the report that was published this week as it just goes to show how minors continue to serve as victims to big tech giants where there are no checks and balances in place.

This just goes to show how many apps are failing in terms of self-regulation and therefore need intervention from external bodies to get the job done right. Moreover, researchers added how these types of findings give rise to a need for the government to step in as making money from minors is against the law.

This included calls for a greater level of transparency to figure out what’s going on in the tech world and come to the bottom of it by giving rise to a solution that alleviates harm to both mental health as well physical health.

To figure out the figures of revenue, the authors ended up giving out an estimate linked to the different apps seen online. This included the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snap, and beyond. This was attained through the US Census and then some data was taken from eMarketer.

The figures for advertising revenue and the duration that kids spend online through every platform were also taken into consideration. The researchers then spoke about developing a simulation model to figure out advertising revenue.

Remember, 2023 also saw plenty of lawmakers from various different states give rise to new laws that curb social media usage among the youth. This included the great harm that this behavior can have on their health.

Let’s not forget how tech giant Meta is under scrutiny after being served lawsuits by 12 different states for empowering the mental health dilemma.

So many apps today boast about their wonderful practices for regulation that they carry out themselves. But what they forget to note is how it drastically impacts the youth as the companies are more worried about their profits and the number of financial incentives at stake are plenty so they happen to be least bothered about it as ruled out in the study.

The apps do not make public how much funds are being earned through minors and that again is so concerning.

But it must be noted how such apps are not the first to roll out ads to kids. So many parents as well as advocates have been talking about the matter for so long. There’s a thin line between what’s acceptable and what is not and the day these apps realize that would be a big thing.
We’ve already seen a policy paper rolled out in 2020 that mentioned in detail how kids are so vulnerable and end up being served as easy targets for these companies to mint money from.

The research also sheds light on how youngsters who are school-going could recognize ads but do not know how to avoid them. So when they cannot resist or cancel, they enter into the trap.

The process is ongoing and very vicious in nature. We are saying hello to a law that is so old but yet no one follows it, the study mentioned. And therefore it’s about time that authorities stepped in and curbed the matter. This is where the FTC has recently become so active.

Apps like YouTube and TikTok are leading the pack in terms of generating the greatest profits as they have the greatest viewership among the youth with Meta following close behind.

Targeted Ads Exploiting Minors: Alarming Insights from Harvard's Report

Lack of Checks and Balances: Big Tech Giants Exploit Minors for Billions

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