'There's too much we can't control': Minnesota parents raise concerns about risk to kids on social media

During a virtual roundtable discussion, half a dozen parents and advocates for young people said they’d struggled with the best strategies for coaching their children through the safest ways to engage with social media.

The conversation comes a week after the U.S. Senate hearing involving a former Facebook employee who blew the whistle about internal studies done at the company documenting the adverse impact the site’s algorithms can have as they serve up troublesome and inaccurate content. Klobuchar sat on that committee discussion and said she would relay to her colleagues in Washington the stories that the parent panel shared with her.

The parents’ experiences varied, but they said their children had experienced unwelcome comments and bullying through the platforms and they said frequent use of the sites took a noticeable toll.

Several talked about the impact of being bombarded by targeted content. While a child or young adult could walk away from a discussion with a peer in real life, virtual interactions can stem follow-up posts or advertisements based on a website’s algorithms.

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