Sen. Katie Britt introduces bill designed to shield minors from dangers of social media

The bill will propose an age limit for social media sites and guidelines for algorithms
WAFF 48's Savannah Sapp reporting
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 9:29 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A new bill backed by Senator Katie Britt and three other U.S. Senators could change the way adolescents access social media.

Sen. Britt introduced the bill in Washington, D.C. alongside Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). The bill, entitled The Protecting Children on Social Media Act, is designed to shield minors from the dangers of popular social media sites.

“This bill steps up and does what we need it to. It allows parents to be back as part of the conversation. And it also makes sure that big tech cannot prey on the emotions of our children,” Britt said at a press conference in Washington, D.C.

The bill would require a minimum age of 13 to access the many social media sites on the market, with parental consent. It would also prevent social media companies from designing algorithms to attract those under 18.

Tanya Beard with Arab City Schools notes that social media has been a part of many struggles that children face.

“Somebody posts a picture and they intentionally crop a student out, or a friend out. Those things seem so insignificant to us as adults, but to them, it’s their world,” Beard said.

Beard also says that newer generations of teens and tweens have a more difficult time escaping the struggles.

“When I grew up, you could go home and escape and people who didn’t like you or picked on you, they went to their house and you went to yours. Children these days don’t have that advantage because social media gives them 24/7 access to each other,” Beard said.

Senator Britt said in her remarks that social media can be a good thing if monitored by parents.

“We all know the benefits that can come from social media. Parents being able to figure out when children are ready for that is a critical step in that and then also knowing that they actually have that ability to explore,” Britt said.

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