US Surgeon General calls for a warning label on social platforms

Together with

The Future. In an op-ed for NYT, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called on Congress to require that a warning label be displayed on social media platforms to raise awareness about how these apps negatively affect young people. With allies on both sides of the aisle, the plea could get the support it needs to pass… but whether a label will make any difference is TBD.

Algorithm addiction
Dr. Murthy is definitely not looking forward to his two young kids getting on social media.

  • He says the label should read that the platforms are “associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents.”
  • The dangers of using social media are most pronounced in those who spend three or more hours a day on apps — it allegedly increases the risk of “showing signs of anxiety and depression.”
  • Murthy also points to a Digital Wellness Lab survey that found half of teens report that these platforms make them feel worse about their appearance.

Murthy, who last year also issued a public health advisory for the harms of using social media, says that the mental health crisis among people is the “defining public health issue of our time.”

While adding a label could help curb usage as it did with cigarettes, he believes that the more critical step is for Congress to pass a law that would keep social platforms from doing things like sending push notifications and auto playing videos, and curb infinite scrolling among kids.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


No design skills needed! 🪄✨

Canva Pro is the design software that makes design simple, convenient, and reliable. Create what you need in no time! Jam-packed with time-saving tools that make anyone look like a professional designer.

Create amazing content quickly with Canva