Social media giants are employing “unethical” psychologists to keep children hooked online for hours on end, industry experts have warned.
Fifty psychologists in the US have penned an open letter saying their profession is being used “to manipulate children for profit”.
The letter said the “persuasive design” of social networks and video games was keeping children glued to the point that studies now showed it was affecting their mental wellbeing and academic attainment.
The signatories called on the American Psychological Association, which represents the profession in the US, to condemn psychologists’ role in developing such techniques.
The open letter comes as The Telegraph has launched the Duty of Care campaign calling for more stringent regulation of social media networks, in order to protect children from harm.
In recent years a number of former social media employees have criticised the methods the networks use to keep people scrolling.