Texas Bill Would Ban Social Media For Kids Under 18
When Texas lawmakers return to Austin in January they will tackle a wide range of issues, including property taxes, securing Texas schools, securing the grid, border issues, and much more.
But what about social media? Last session lawmakers went after the tech giants for silencing views on the right. This session, at least one Texas lawmakers wants to prevent kids from logging on some of the biggest sites and apps.
State Representative Jared Patterson is proposing legislation that would ban social media for all residents under the age of 18.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Patterson is comparing social media to cigarettes and and drugs that kids get hooked on.
Rep. Patterson painted the stakes around his proposed bill in stark terms: "[Social media companies] are doing everything they can do to hook kids on their product. Just as a drug lord would do to hook a child onto their product," Patterson said.
"Social media is the pre-1964 cigarette. Once thought to be perfectly safe for users, social media access to minors has led to remarkable rises in self-harm, suicide, and mental health issues," Patterson said in a release issued last week. "The Texas legislature must act this session to protect children because, thus far, the social media platforms have failed to do so. HB 896 is a solution to this crisis," Patterson added in the release.
There have been numerous studies into social media and teenagers that show that increased social media use could have a negative impact on younger people's mental health.
Patterson will join The Chad Hasty Show Tuesday evening at 5:35pm to discuss his bill.