Should Congress authorize a Federal report and longitudinal study to report facts of social media usage and its effect on users under 18?

Awaiting Vote
Bill Summary

This bill authorizes a Federal report and longitudinal study regarding the facts of social media on users under the age of 18. The bill aims to commission a government report on the harm of social media for children and would also fund a longitudinal study to track the effect of social media on children over 10 years old. Sponsor: Sen. Josh Hawley (Republican, Missouri)
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Opponents say

•      "Congress should reject policies such as those proposed by Zuckerberg, Hawley, and Warner — who may be not such strange bedfellows after all. Instead, lawmakers should acknowledge the inevitable presence of bias, protect competition in speech, and defend the conditions that would allow future platforms and protocols to emerge in service of the public." Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute

Proponents say

•      "In short, these platforms have become dangerous to young people, pushing them toward nihilistic disengagement or despair. Predators and traffickers, like vulture, hover just out of view… Congress should authorize a federal study to examine social media’s effects on kids’ mental health. And websites that collect data from minors should be required to provide straightforward opt-outs. These are simple, common-sense steps that should sail through Congress by unanimous consent" Source: Sen. Josh Hawley (Republican, Missouri

•     "Senator Hawley should amend the Federal Social Media Research Act to authorize a federal study on the impact different types of social media content have on user welfare. There is already some valuable work in this area that a federal study could build on, and future work can explore which measures might be most useful for preventing harm. More research could help platforms understand how design features like suggested breaks and auto play impact users." Source: Center for Data Innovation