Attorney General Josh Stein invites Buncombe County parents, caregivers, teachers, and students to join a social media town hall

Press release from Attorney General Josh Stein:

Attorney General Josh Stein is inviting parents, caregivers, teachers, administrators, and students to discuss youth social media use in a town hall in Asheville on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 12:30 p.m. in partnership with Buncombe County Schools and Asheville City Schools.

“Too much of anything can be harmful, especially when it comes to social media,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I am looking forward to hearing from community members in Buncombe County so my office can help keep young people safe online.”

“Social media can create challenges for our children, including eating disorders, peer pressure, bullying, depression, and substance misuse,” said Dr. Rob Jackson, Buncombe County Schools superintendent. “I am looking forward to this chance to connect and learn from each other as we work to protect our young people online.”

“Social media has indeed revolutionized how young people interact, offering a digital platform for amplifying voices and creating communities,” said Dr. Maggie Fehrman, Asheville City Schools superintendent. “However, the challenge lies in balancing online and offline experiences to ensure that the digital footprint left behind is empowering rather than harmful. Amidst likes and shares, it’s crucial to navigate the digital landscape thoughtfully, promoting a healthy integration of virtual interactions with real-world connections. This balance is essential for fostering positive digital citizenship and ensuring that online experiences contribute positively to personal growth and societal well-being.”

The town hall will be held at the Buncombe County Board of Education at 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, 28806. Anyone who wants to attend is asked to RSVP to

Youth online safety is a top priority for Attorney General Stein, especially as middle school students spend about five and a half hours and high school students spend on average eight and a half hours online a day. Research has linked the increased amount of time on social media platforms to mental health damage and increased risk of self-harm and suicide. Social media can also expose children to content that depicts abuse and disturbing sexual images, which can warp their understanding of healthy and safe relationships. Last year, Attorney General Stein and 41 other bipartisan attorneys general sued Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, for allegedly designing their social media platforms to hook children and teenagers and deceiving the public by claiming that these platforms were safe and suitable for young users. He is also investigating TikTok.

Attorney General Stein will kick off the town hall with an overview of his ongoing work as part of a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general to investigate whether social media platforms violated consumer protection laws by providing and promoting their potentially harmful platforms to young users. More information on our office’s work to protect kids online is available at

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