Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation that would require parental consent for 13- to 17-year-olds to obtain social media accounts. File photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | license photo
April 26 (UPI) — A bipartisan US Senate bill would ban children under the age of 13 from social media and require parental consent for children ages 13 to 17 to have social media accounts.
Sponsors of the Children’s Social Media Protection Act cite what they say are the growing mental health problems facing teens today as the primary reason for creating the legislation.
If signed into law, the Federal Trade Commission would have the power to fine social media companies millions of dollars.
However, the bill also exempts online platforms that offer video games, online payments, digital newsletters, teleconferencing providers, and other online sites.
The bill also creates a pilot program to provide a secure digital ID card to US citizens and legal residents at no cost to the individual.
Under the bill, social media companies would have two years from the date of enactment of the bill to verify the ages of account holders.
Invoices The introductory paragraph states that its purpose is to “require social media platforms to verify the age of their users, prohibit the use of algorithmic recommender systems on persons under the age of 18, require parental or guardian consent for users of social networks under the age of 18 and prohibit users who are under the age of 13 from accessing social media platforms.”
The bill does not prohibit minors from viewing content from social networks, “as long as such viewing does not imply logging in or interacting with the content or other users.”
The bill’s sponsors are Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala.
“From bullying and sex trafficking to addiction and explicit content, social media companies subject children and teens to a wide variety of content that can harm them, emotionally and physically,” Cotton said. in a sentence. “Just as parents protect their children from threats in the real world, they need the opportunity to protect their children online.”
Schatz said that while social media companies are profiting, children are suffering and it has to stop. He said mounting evidence is clear that social media “is making kids more depressed and wreaking havoc on their mental health.”
“Our bill will help us stop the growing social media health crisis among children by setting a minimum age and preventing companies from using algorithms to automatically feed them addictive content based on their personal information,” Schatz said in a statement. release.
The bill would limit technology companies’ use of adolescent data to target them with advertising.
“As the father of two children, one teenager and one soon to be, I see firsthand the damage that social media companies, 100% committed to addicting our children to their screens, are causing to our society,” he said. Murphy in a statement. “This is a reality we don’t have to accept… None of this is outside the control of Congress and this bipartisan legislation would take important steps to protect children and hold social media companies accountable.”