The Protecting Kids on Social Media Act bans kids under 13 from Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. It would also require those ages 13 to 17 to get their parent’s permission before joining the social platforms.
According to a CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey, in 2021, 57% of high school girls and 29% of high school boys felt persistently sad or hopeless, with 22% of all high school students reportedly considered suicide in the preceding year.
“We are now more than a decade into the largest epidemic of teen mental illness on record, and we do know what’s driving it,” said Senator Brian Schatz.
Senator Chris Murphy said, “Parents want and deserve tools to help keep their kids safe online.”
During a news conference on Wednesday, Murphy said, “I have seen both of my children be subjected to these algorithms that are intent on addicting them to their screens and pulling them away from much more fulfilling and meaningful connection.”
Dr. Jennifer Schwab at Rocky Hill Pediatrics told News 8, “We know that these social media platforms actually created algorithms to give them more of what they want to draw them in with this dopamine hit – very similar to adults with alcohol or nicotine.”
“This bill gives parents the ability to decide with their children when is the right time to step into this world,” Murphy said.