A proposed bill that’s making its way through the Texas legislature seeks to ban minors from using social media platforms.
Last week, state Rep. Jared Patterson announced his plans to introduce new legislation banning minors from using social media in the 2023 legislative session.
Posting on Twitter, Patterson quoted the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), which tweeted about countless tragic stories about the destructive harms of social media, especially to minors.
The group argues that “Texas could have an opportunity to be the national leader on the issue of child online safety,” to which Patterson replied, “I agree, and I’ll be introducing legislation next session to ban minors from using social media.”
“It’s long past time to recognize the incredible harm social media is doing to the mental health of young Texans. Next session, we put an end to it.”
The TPPF featured a number of stories of minors who experienced the results of social media addiction, arguing for change.
A young girl named Alexis started using social media when she was 11 and was barraged with videos about body image, eating disorders, and cutting. She developed a social media addiction, anorexia, harmed herself, and contemplated suicide. Samantha was sucked into an algorithmically fueled rabbit hole about rare diseases which she increasingly became convinced she had and began self-diagnosing herself with borderline-personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and multiple-personality disorder. CJ and Ian committed suicide while using social media. Olly was murdered in an ambush that was “planned on social media and triggered by a dispute in a social media chat group.
It’s time to save kids from social media.
The push to ban minors from accessing TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram comes amid widespread reports that exposure to social media is causing untold harm to developing minds. In some cases, such as a recent TikTok trend called the “blackout challenge” in which children have inadvertently taken their own lives.
TikTok is currently facing multiple lawsuits from parents saying the app’s algorithm showed their children videos of the deadly challenge, in which multiple children died of strangulation, the Verge reported.