MP for Ogmore, Chris Elmore, has met with the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP, to discuss the #NewFilters report he published earlier this year.
Chris, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Media and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing, a the meeting was a positive opportunity to discuss what can be done to counter some of the issues young people face online.
Also in attendance were Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, the secretariat of the APPG, and William Wragg MP, the Secretary of the APPG.
The government recently confirmed its plans to act on several of the issues arising from the report when it released its Online Harms White Paper. One of the report’s key recommendations – the establishment of a Social Media Health Alliance – has not yet been added to the government’s plans. Chris is keen to grow the level of support for this proposal and raised this as part of the meeting.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“This is an issue that I’m incredibly passionate about. We have to solve the Wild West that social media is becoming for many people. Mental health issues are on the rise and the government isn’t doing enough to put pressure on social media companies to tackle them.
“I’m really pleased to have had such a positive meeting with the Health Secretary today. I’m delighted to hear that he’s going to put more pressure on the social media companies and he was genuinely receptive to the ideas we raised.
“I look forward to continuing to work with him and other colleagues on a cross-party basis so that we can ensure we get ahead of the technology and help our young people.”
The proposed Social Media Health Alliance would be funded by a small 0.5% levy on the profits of social media companies and would go towards funding cutting-edge research into the links between the platforms and mental health issues.