US lawmakers ask Facebook and Google for their studies on their impact on children’s mental health

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Four U.S. Republican lawmakers called on Tuesday for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB ), Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR ) and Alphabet’s Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) Inc to hand over any studies they have done on how their services affect children’s mental health.

The request follows a joint hearing last week by two House Energy and Commerce subcommittees in which the companies’ top executives discussed their content moderation practices in the wake of the siege on Capitol Hill in January.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the committee’s ranking Republican, had asked CEOs of companies at the hearing if their firms had conducted internal investigations into children’s mental health.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said he believed the company had done it, while Twitter’s Jack Dorsey said he didn’t. Google’s Sundar Pichai said the company consulted with outside experts and spent “a lot of time and effort in these areas.”

In letters sent to the companies Tuesday, McMorris Rodgers asked for copies of any relevant investigations or internal communications, as well as information about any contractors and partners involved.

In addition, the lawmakers requested any research the companies have done on how competing products affect the mental well-being of those under the age of 18.

The requests also concern Google’s YouTube Kids service and Facebook’s Instagram, which is developing a version for children under 13.

The other lawmakers who signed the letter were senior Republicans on various subcommittees, including Robert Latta, Gus Bilirakis and Morgan Griffith.

The letter asks that companies respond by April 16.

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