The Senate is once again considering a bill and this time it is to protect our children. The Washington Post reports that Senators Brian Schatz from Hawaii and Tom Cotton from Arkansas have introduced a bill that aims to set a minimum age requirement for children using social media sites, making it one of the most bi-partisan pieces of legislation in a long time. The bill would set an age limit for kids on social media and ensure that social media platforms use algorithms to target minors in a safe way, ensuring every child’s safety. The age limit would ban children under the age of 13 from social media, while teenagers aged 13-17 would need parental consent to use social media.
— Dr. R.Erdem ERKUL (@ErdemErkul) April 25, 2023
This anti-Big-Tech movement, which is led by both Democrats and Republicans, isn’t new, with lawmakers from both sides already pushing to protect children on social media for some time. Townhall recently covered how a lawmaker in Florida proposed a bill that would require public schools to teach children about social media safety, but this latest bill comes as a relief to many parents.
“I fully support this bill. As a parent, I am deeply concerned about the safety of our children, both online and offline,” says Utah Congressman Chris Stewart, who is one of the co-sponsors of the bill. “Social media has become a dangerous place for children with stalkers and predators lurking about. It’s essential that we protect our children from the harms of social media, in the same way we protect them from smoking, drinking, and other risky behavior.”
Polls conducted by Parents Defending Education showed that over two-thirds of parents, 68 percent, are not comfortable with their children using the TikTok platform without supervision, including 73 percent of parents under the age of 34. The majority of parents, 68 percent, are also not comfortable with their children using Facebook without supervision, and 63 percent of parents share similar concerns about Instagram, including 74 percent of parents with a child in elementary school. Additionally, 74 percent of parents are not comfortable with their children using Snapchat without supervision, with it being the most worrying platform for parents out of all social media sites.
Parents Defending Education, which is fighting to protect children from harmful, woke indoctrination taught in schools, has said that “parents desire more knowledge about—and control over—what their children have access to, and want policy changes that will empower them to keep them safe”. The ‘TikTok Gone Wild’ trend, for example, highlights how dangerous it can be to allow children to have unlimited access to social media platforms without supervision or controls in place to ensure children’s safety.
Most parents have already realized that exposure to social media and the internet can be harmful to their children, and this is when lawmakers need to prioritize the welfare of our children by implementing protective laws aimed at protecting children. Parental supervision can’t always be 100 percent foolproof, and unless social media companies have tighter regulations and the law intervenes, social media can be a dangerous place. Kudos to Schatz and Cotton for leading this bi-partisan effort to protect kids.