(HorizonPost.com) – Social media might be banned for children who do not receive permission from a guardian after a bipartisan group of legislators introduced the “Protecting Kids on Social Media Act,” according to a report from the defense and national security website 19FortyFive. The act will reportedly require consent from guardians for children between the ages of 13 through 18.
The social media platform will also be banned from using algorithms to show content to teenagers. Adults will be able to give their children permission, but that permission will have to be validated with a form of ID. Children will still be allowed to view content on social media if the content is not placed behind a log-in form. Content that is for general audiences is usually not required to log in to view it.
Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and Katie Britt have teamed up with Democratic Sens. Brian Schatz and Chris Murphy to introduce the legislation. They argue that the mental health crisis confronting the United States is mostly affecting children, particularly young girls.
Schatz notes that the social media company makes ad revenue if the user spends time on the app and engages with content. But he said that the results of this correlation are “catastrophic.” He says the way that social media companies get children to spend more time on the platform is to “upset them.” He also called it “preposterous” that an algorithm could have a First Amendment right or that a 13-year-old has a right to have upsetting content shown to them.
Cotton touched on how easy it is for kids to bypass the 13-year-old age restriction the platforms have, citing the self-reporting method that does not work to prevent minors from watching content. The legislation comes as Congress is working to ban TikTok as part of a controversial bill that people are saying expands the government’s power and surveillance over American citizens, according to American Pigeon.
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