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SMC Names 2023 Social Media Heroes

The Sustainable Media Center’s Heroes: Six People of Purpose.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, December 27, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — Today – six remarkable Heroes. In a world facing a growing social media epidemic, we saw individuals who broke through the noise with actions that spoke louder than words—acting to be the change they want to see in the world.

“There is a growing concern that the state of social media is hurting a generation of young people,” said Sustainable Media Center Executive Director Steven Rosenbaum. “While the community that is fighting for change is large and growing, these six individuals together represent a coalition of different voices and interested, who together are making a movement.”

Our Six Social Media Heroes of 2023.

– Emma Lembke – Design It For Us
– Zamaan Qureshi – Design It For Us
– Meghan Markel – the Duchess of Sussex
– Prince Harry – the Duke of Sussex
– Surgeon General Vivek Murthy
– Arturo Bejar – The New Facebook Whistleblower
– 42 State Attorney’s General

Individually, they are each remarkable. Together, they’re the growing base of a movement.

Lembke, Qureshi, Markle, Prince Harry, Murthy, Bejar – Sustainable Media Center – Heroes: 2023
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Steve Rosenbaum, Executive Director SMC

There is a growing concern that social media is hurting young people. These six individuals together represent a coalition of different voices and interests, who together are making a movement.”
— Steven Rosenbaum, Sustainable Media Center Executive Director

Emma Lembke – Design It For Us
Emma Lembke, is a rising Junior at Washington University in St Louis student, founder of Design It For Us, has called for a more robust strategy to protect kids online: “Social media is designed to get young people hooked and keep them hooked,” she told Issue One. “It’s robbing us of our time and energy to be kids. While there are many benefits to an interconnected, online world, the harms are also very real and cannot be ignored. We need social media companies to adopt commonsense safeguards for the designs of their products, and we need those safeguards now.” Lembke is on the NexGen board of the SustainableMedia.Center.

Zamaan Qureshi – Design It For Us
Zamaan Qureshi is Co-Chair of the Design It For Us coalition and an activist and advocate for safer social media for teenagers and young people. He is also a policy advisor and social media coordinator for the Real Facebook Oversight Board. Zamaan has written for TIME, Slate, Gizmodo, Tech Policy Press, and Byline Times, has appeared on MSNBC and NPR’s Marketplace, and has been featured in CNN, ABC, Reuters, Financial Times, Politico, Newsweek, Forbes, Business Insider, Gizmodo, Engadget, and The Washington Post. He is pursuing a B.A. in international studies and political science at American University. Qureshi is on the NexGen board of the SustainableMedia.Center.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
As the founders of The Archewell Foundation, this extraordinary couple has turned their notoriety into action to fight for change. The Parents’ Summit: Mental Wellness in a Digital Age brought together parents who have experienced tragic loss, connected to their child’s social media use, for a discussion on building community and creating a safer online world for young people. “Our kids are really young … but social media is not going away,” Meghan said at an event they hosted in NYC.“I think by design, there is an entry point that’s supposed to be positive and creating community. And something has devolved, and there’s no way to hear that and not try to help these families have their stories be heard.” “For us, the priority here is to turn pain into purpose,” said Prince Harry.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy
Dr. Vivek Murthy is an American physician and a vice admiral in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps who has served as the 19th and 21st surgeon general of the United States under Presidents Obama, Trump, and Biden. “Teens who use social media for more than three hours a day face double the risk of depression and anxiety symptoms, which is particularly concerning given that the average amount of time that kids use social media is 3 1/2 hours a day,” said the Surgeon General when his groundbreaking 19-page report was released. The state of social media is a heavy burden, said Murthy. “That’s a lot to ask of parents, to take a new technology that’s rapidly evolving and that fundamentally changes how kids perceive themselves.”

Arturo Béjar – The New Facebook Whistleblower
Arturo Béjar, known for his expertise on curbing online harassment, recounted to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg his own daughter’s troubling experiences with Instagram. But he said his concerns and warnings went unheeded. And so, following in the footsteps of Frances Haugen, Béjar took his knowledge to the US Congress. “I appear before you today as a dad with firsthand experience of a child who received unwanted sexual advances on Instagram,” he told a panel of U.S. senators.”Social media companies must be required to become more transparent so that parents and the public can hold them accountable.”

42 State Attorneys General
A bipartisan coalition of 42 has filed suit against the social media behemoth. “Kids and teenagers are suffering from record levels of poor mental health and social media companies like Meta are to blame,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. Twenty-five years ago, four major tobacco companies settled a court case with 46 states, and the District of Columbia that resulted in the major tobacco companies being forced to pay states for tobacco-caused healthcare costs and ended certain tobacco marketing aimed at kids Says the complaint: “Meta has harnessed powerful and unprecedented technologies to entice, engage, and ultimately ensnare youth and teens. Its motive is profit, and in seeking to maximize its financial gains.”

“The Sustainable Media Center’s mission is to engage, examine, and support solutions that will give a new generation of media consumers and creators meaningful agency and ownership of their increasingly media-centric lives,” said Rosenbaum. “Young people today deserve social media that connects, entertains, and informs without undermining their health and emotional well-being.”

Steve Rosenbaum
SustainableMedia.Center
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