X owner Elon Musk warns about social media's impact on kids, says excessive use of it is bad

07:33PM Sat 25 May, 2024

Elon Musk, who is a father to nine kids, has often talked about social media's impact on kids. Last year, he had said that he never restricted his kids' social media use and it might have been a mistake. Now, in a recent address, the tech titan expressed significant concerns about the effects of social media on children. Speaking remotely at the VivaTech fair in Paris, Musk talked about the importance of regulating children's exposure to these platforms.

During his virtual appearance, Musk stressed the potential harm of social media, pointing out that children are particularly vulnerable to sophisticated AI algorithms designed to boost user engagement by maximising dopamine levels. "I would urge parents to limit the amount of social media that children can see because they're being programmed by a dopamine-maximizing AI," Musk said.

Musk's comments stem from a broader concern about the psychological impact of social media. He argued that the competitive nature of social media companies to capture users' attention is leading to harmful consequences for young minds. To underscore his point, he shared the session's video on X, reiterating his stance that excessive social media is detrimental to children due to the fierce competition among AI systems to generate dopamine hits.

In an interactive moment on X, a user enquired about Musk's personal source of dopamine for the week. His response was succinct: "X + kids," highlighting his dual focus on his professional endeavours and his family.

This is not the first time Musk has raised alarms about social media platforms. He has been particularly critical of Meta's Facebook and Instagram, citing allegations that these platforms have facilitated child exploitation through their tools. Meanwhile, he has repeatedly claimed that his social media platform X is taking strong measures to eliminate child abuse content, although there have been controversies, including the reinstatement of an account that previously shared exploitative content.

Last year, while speaking at the World Government Summit (WGS) in Dubai, Musk had said that he had never tried restricting social media for his kids and it "might have been mistake."

He further added that he thinks that his kids have been ‘programmed’ by Reddit and YouTube and that he would have liked to keep tabs on what they were watching.

"They have been programmed by Reddit and YouTube. I would limit social media a bit more than in the past and watch what they are watching," he had said.