The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Media has launched an inquiry into managing the impact of social media on young people’s mental health and wellbeing, which will run from Summer 2018 to early 2019.

The inquiry will aim to build the evidence base on the issue, but also to inform progressive and practical solutions including a proposed industry Code of Conduct. The group will be hearing evidence, views and experiences from a variety of expert stakeholders as well as young people themselves.

The objectives of the inquiry are:
  • To further build the evidence base of the impact of social media on young people’s mental health and wellbeing
  • To establish where the capacity and responsibility to address the impact of social media lies, whether this be with the Government, the industry, third sector, parents and young people themselves or a combination of all of these
  • To make recommendations to Government on its role in mitigating the bad and maximising the good of social media for young people
  • To engage directly with the social media industry to explore how it can be more responsible in making social media platforms more conducive to positive mental health and wellbeing, including informing developer guidelines and an industry Code of Conduct
  • To assess, inspire and promote innovative digital tools and educational approaches that can be used by educators, parents and young people to manage their relationships with social media

The inquiry is open to receive evidence under four broad topics, which will form the basis of at least four oral evidence sessions in Parliament, from October to December 2018:

  • The impact of social media on mental health and wellbeing
  • What a ‘healthy relationship’ with social media looks like
  • Where responsibility lies for managing the impact and what scope there is for regulation
  • What technological innovation and practical solutions can be implemented

The APPG invites all stakeholders with relevant knowledge and expertise to submit evidence. In particular, we welcome the input of: 

  • Children and young people themselves (whether on their own initiative or coordinated through young people’s organisations)
  • Representatives from individual social media companies and from the digital technology industry more broadly
  • Professionals and voluntary sector workers who work directly with young people, including teachers and youth workers
  • Charities and NGOs that work with or on behalf of children and young people
  • Charities and NGOs with expertise in mental health and wellbeing
  • Academics and researchers involved in existing and ongoing research in this and related areas
  • Clinicians and public health professionals with expertise in young people’s mental health and wellbeing
  • Government representatives from relevant departments, especially the Department of Health and Social Care, Department for Education, and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Technology developers and digital innovators and creatives
  • Parents and guardians

The deadline for responses to this stage of the inquiry has now passed. We thank you for your submissions and are now considering all responses received during the consultation period.