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Social media companies should be forced to share data for harms and benefits research, say psychiatrists

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 17 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m209
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Social media companies should be forced to hand over their data to universities for independent research into the risks and benefits of social media use, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists.1

The college said the government’s plans to set up an online safety regulator to improve internet safety, announced last year as part of the white paper on online harms,2 should be extended to give the regulator power to compel companies to hand over their data.

They said the data would be anonymous but include the nature of content viewed, as well as the amount of …

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