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New Study Warns of the Dangers of Social Media to Children and Teens

A new report, which is almost sort of certain to attract some rather harsh feedback from hardcore social media enthusiasts, claims that teens who are addicted to social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace, are more likely to fall victim to alcohol, nicotine, and even marijuana than those who shy away from socialising in the virtual world.

The report was published by the the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Apparently, the report bases its findings on the theory that social media users generally get to see images of their peers drinking or consuming banned substances, which in turn, provokes them to mimic the behaviour.

"The time has come for those who operate and profit from social networking sites like Facebook to deploy their technological expertise to curb such images and to deny use of their sites to children and teens who post pictures of themselves and their friends drunk, passed out or using drugs," says Joseph A. Califano, Jr. the founder and chairman of CASA, as reported in PC Magazine.

"Continuing to provide the electronic vehicle for transmitting such images constitutes electronic child abuse," he added.