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Senators Look To Ban Children Under 13 From Having Social Media

Senators are planning to introduce new legislation that bans children under 13 from using social media.

The new bill is in talks between Democrat Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, and Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

The bill would also require children ages 13-17 to give consent before their child gets on social media.

The new legislation is being praised by some but others have compared it to laws in China that put hourly restriction on video game and social media usage.

Per Fox 5 DC:

Senators will soon introduce legislation to set a minimum age for children to use social media, according to a report.

Concerned with the detrimental effect social media has on children’s mental health, Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., are reportedly leading the effort to keep these platforms out of kids’ reach. Their bill would also set restrictions for how tech companies use algorithms to serve minors, according to the Washington Post’s “The Technology 202” newsletter.

The bill would bar children under 13 from accessing social media and require parents of kids age 13 to 17 to give affirmative consent for their social media use, the report said. It is not clear how the proposed legislation would verify users’ ages.

Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Katie Boyd Britt, R-Ala., will be co-sponsors, according to a Senate aide who spoke to the Washington Post.

CNN got the scoop too:

A new federal bill unveiled Wednesday would establish a national minimum age for social media use and require tech companies to get parents’ consent before creating accounts for teens, reflecting a growing trend at all levels of government to restrict how Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and other platforms engage with young users.

The proposed legislation by a bipartisan group of US senators aims to address what policymakers, mental health advocates and critics of tech platforms say is a mental health crisis fueled by social media.

Under the bill, known as the Protecting Kids on Social Media Act, social media platforms would be barred from letting kids below the age of 13 create accounts or interact with other users, though children would still be permitted to view content without logging into an account, according to draft text of the legislation.

Tech platforms covered by the legislation would also have to obtain a parent or guardian’s consent before creating new accounts for users under the age of 18. The companies would be banned from using teens’ personal information to target them with content or advertising, though they could still provide limited targeted recommendations to teens by relying on other contextual cues.


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