Project Liberty Action Network to Spotlight Harm of Social Media on Children’s Mental Health

Young adults on their phones with "We, free" in text


New nonprofit will address technology’s impact on society and launch multimillion-dollar campaign focused on the damaging effects of social media on children’s mental health

NEW YORK, July 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Project Liberty Action Network (PLAN) launched a multimillion-dollar campaign to spotlight the impact of social media on children’s mental health. PLAN was recently formed to address the societal harms of social media and technology by building a movement of citizens and making safer digital platforms a priority issue for the next election cycle.

“At a time when social media is as poisonous and invasive as ever, and AI tools like ChatGPT are taking the world by storm, we are enjoining an effort to speak directly to voters, legislators, and policy makers to rein in the worst abuses, and put our nation and world on a more sensible track,” said Frank McCourt, the founder of PLAN. “The campaign will center its efforts on social media and technology, but its ultimate goal is to safeguard the future of children, families, and communities. If we don’t address the issues created by social media, AI, and technology in an increasingly digital world, everyone and everything is at risk.”

PLAN is a partner organization to Project Liberty, a 501(c)(3) founded in 2021 that aims to transform how the internet works and ensure that the tech underpinning our daily lives empowers people over companies and optimizes for democracy and the public good.

PLAN will tackle a host of issues related to technology’s impact on society, including division, disinformation, data privacy, and big tech’s influence on policy. Its most urgent and immediate focus, however, is on social media’s effect on children’s mental health.

“Social media is not inherently evil, and the rise of AI shows tremendous promise.  But unchecked, new and evolving technologies have the potential to do even more damage to the mental health of our children and the strength of our democracy,” continued McCourt.

“Despite the data that shows increases in self harm and diminishing feelings of self-worth among youth who engage in these platforms, our leaders have not risen to meaningfully address these issues. Our effort aims to be a major inflection point in the conversation around tech accountability — there is a plan for action, and a new spotlight to draw attention.”

PLAN will put a spotlight on harms caused by social media and technology by launching an eight-week TV and digital advertising campaign. The first two television spots can be seen here. The organization will also build a powerful movement by engaging and mobilizing activists and community leaders who are at the forefront of fighting for safer social media and tech platforms. PLAN will demonstrate the power of what’s possible when people, passion, and good ideas coincide.

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