Tobacco-like warning label for social media sought by US surgeon general who asks Congress to act

submitted by FenrirIII…


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If you're gonna do that, you're gonna have to start labeling other media. And people.


Aaaah, I would love it if people had to carry a visible law-mandated label saying "May contain bigotted and un-read-up (i.e. dumb), toxic opinions about all things" unless they pass some psychological exam.

Brave new world.


what a stupid idea... actually regulate them you fucking cowards.


On one hand great, on the other, has the "Confirm you're an adult" prompt ever stopped a curious young man who just learned the word, "boobs" from viewing adult imagery?


What's great about it?


What’s great about it?

the boobs, of course



So, let California be a lesson to you: excessive PSA warnings of things that cause health problems (e.g. Known to the state of California to cause cancer ) leads to the public generally ignoring the PSA warnings.

Putting a warning on social media like the warning on tobacco products will weaken the efficacy -- and veracity -- of the labels already on tobacco products.


This won't affect tobacco in anyway. The only reason its in the conversation is because of the term "Tobacco-style label".

Youll have to connect the dots better on how social media popup warnings would cause people to smoke more.


Well, the California example is about too many PSA warning labels. So many things are known by the State of California to cause cancer that no-one takes heed of the labels anymore. Similarly Nancy Reagan's anti-drug campaign (and Tipper Gore's parental advisory music labels) only encouraged kids to do more drugs and listen to angrier music.

So it's not that kids will smoke more (or much more) it's that the labels will be more easily ignored when the government fails to be sparing in their use.

In an non-government example, when everything is a sin, then nothing is a sin.

Rekorse , edited

Different groups of people, and different sub groups within those, react to things in different ways, and I think most would argue that the group of people who responded in the opposite way rather than getting along were not a detriment to the whole movement.

To your point specifically about California surgeon general warnings, quite a lot of people take them seriously, including myself. In most cases they aren't off the mark by much if at all.


What an absurd, ignorant notion. Of course social media has a negative impact on developing minds, but forcing sites to display warnings would have zero positive impact. Browser extensions would immediately pop up to hide those warnings, and if anything, the presence of such warnings would *increase* kids' use of social media, since the danger is something even adults had a hard time understanding and kids love to rebel against oppressive systems. The warnings would turn into memes.

The only answers to this problem are to break up and ban social media companies (not possible) or get parents to *actually be parents* and teach their kids about the pitfalls of social media.


get parents to *actually be parents* and teach their kids about the pitfalls of social media

Also not possible


Exactly - such labels would be ignored even more than the ones on cigarettes are, especially by the addicts. And it's so much easier to completely hide them too - adblockers already hide a lot of content people don't want to see, this would just become another line in the filter list so fast...

moon , edited

Except many advertisers don't want to be associated with damaging things. So this has an impact on advertising revenue for social media companies and they would absolutely view this as a blow to their public image.

We need to break them up, and legislate against their practices for the future but this is something that can happen right away and hit them in their pockets


And right here is why I will never be on board with this idea. You don't want to make people better at using the tech or companies to do a better job with it, you want your revenge on them. It isn't about being greater it is about constraining success.

moon , edited

It's really not about revenge. It's about taking back power from corporations and giving it to the people. Right now, political power is with the highest bidder and these companies know it.

They are using the money from advertising to lobby and buy politicians, which is what stops us from having sensible regulations for social media. Taking away that revenue stream inhibits their ability to do this, so it's a win for the people


And now you are backtracking. You didn't say that in your previous comment what you did argue for was finding ways to hurt social media companies. Not able to support your revenge viewpoint you make it more diplomatic.

You don't like Meta? Ok, I don't care or blame you. No one has to like anything. But you can stop pretending that you suddenly care about people hurt by that company when you post a screed about your revenge fantasies.

As I said, it isn't about making things better it is about hurting something you don't personally like.


We need to break them up, and *legislate against their practices* for the future but this is something that can happen right away and hit them in their pockets

That was in my original comment. I was clearly making the point that the aim is to legislate against harmful practices. I don't think most people need it spelled out for them why that is, or why we can't do it right away but I've done my best to be patient in explaining it to you.

If you want to take a weird stance that I'm being mean to corporations that's up to you, but I didn't say anything vengeful let alone posted a 'screed'


Yeah this is basically the older generation vs video games, the one before that against movies, etc, etc...

As people age they resent the world changing, they assume everything different is bad because it's easier to accept than the thought of aging into irrelevance.

Lemmy is full of people knee-jerk hating anything new; social media, ai, and every new thing younger generations do. It's dumb but people are often so.


Can we put one on Congress?

"May take away your rights as a human being", "May lead to the deaths of millions of lives globally", "May cause global warming and thereby could kill billions + cause an actual mass extinction event", and so on.


"extremely interested in your genitals"


That too. Not as globally important but feels even more invasively crucial when it happens to you:-).


May suspend your rights to support a foreign country.


Isn’t social media just a distillation of the interactions innate in society? If exposure to social media is damaging that’s indicative of deeply flawed and damaging society.

Evilcoleslaw , edited

The key difference is its sorted by an algorithm designed to increase your engagement and view duration. And quite often the easiest way to do that is by generating negative emotional responses, etc


Even with perfect algorithms I think it’s reasonable to expect problems within society to sharpen.

I mean if there was some theoretical social media entity completely disconnected from optimization for its own benefit then the people using that system would still have been provided the tools to do all their social relations faster, more often and with more intensity.

That’s gonna, and maybe I’m giving away the game here, uh, heighten the contradictions.


When I was a kid they just called modern Music and Pokemon the products of Satan. They didn't have to dress it up in pseudoscience to justify it. I bet Vivek Murthy got butthurt on reddit and is now trying to take the ball home.

Get away with it to. No one ever gets punished for a moral panic. Janet Reno tortured a confession out of a 17 year old during the daycare panic and had a long fruitful career.


It's tabacco-like in that it's a warning. It's not tabacco-like in that there's no science demonstrating definite cancerous harm.

magic_lobster_party , edited

This has the same vibes as old people complaining about things kids do. “Why don’t they listen to the radio and play with sticks in the woods like I did? Kids these days are just listening to rock music and reading comic books.”

Social media is here to stay and putting warning labels on it won’t do a damnest. Kids will still use it because the option would be not to be included in their friend groups.


I don't know about you but I'm going to have to keep my daughter away from social media! It'll rot her brain and make her a tankie! (We are taking about Lemmy, right? /s)