Alex Chalk, MP for Cheltenham, in partnership with The Children’s Society and YoungMinds, has set up an inquiry into the impact of social media bullying on children and young people’s mental health

Teenage girl, missing

The inquiry is examining the impact of social media on mental health and emotional wellbeing as well as the steps social media companies are taking to tackle such behaviour on their platforms, and whether the industry is going far enough to protect children and young people on their sites.

So far, we’ve found that more than 8 in 10 (83%) young people think social media companies should do more to tackle cyberbullying on their platforms, according to a poll by us and YoungMinds. Some 46% said they had experienced threatening, intimidating or nasty messages via social media, email or text and 14% of respondents said they had experienced online bullying in the last month. Find out more about our preliminary findings.

Launching the inquiry, Alex Chalk, MP for Cheltenham said: ‘I’m extremely grateful to The Children’s Society and YoungMinds for agreeing to work with me on this critical area. I don’t think we fully understand the adverse effect that social media can have on young people’s mental health. I hope our inquiry can go some way towards filling that gap in knowledge.'

A panel of MPs, Peers and other experts are leading the inquiry. The inquiry comprises of an online survey and three evidence sessions in the Houses of Parliament. 

During the evidence sessions, the panel heard from: children and young people who have been personally affected by online bullying; industry experts on the impact of cyberbullying on mental health; and representatives from social media companies.

Issues being explored

The inquiry is exploring:

  • The effect of online bullying and harassment (including through instant-messaging) on children and young people’s mental health
  • Measures currently taken by social media to tackle online bullying
  • What more can be done to make social media a safer space for children and young people's mental health.

Find out more about our preliminary findings.

The Terms of Reference for the inquiry provide further detail on the issues which will be explored.

More information

For more information on the inquiry, please contact:

Matt Hussey, Public Affairs Officer, The Children's Society. 

Matt Blow, Policy and Government Affairs Officer, YoungMinds.