New Texas Bill Wants To Ban Social Media For Children Under 18

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A new bill filed in Texas is looking to prohibit the use of social media for children under 18 years old.

HB 896 was filed by Representative Jared Patterson, a Republican from North Texas, FOX 4 reports. Patterson compared social media usage to the use of cigarettes before the '60s. "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," he said.

Currently, social media apps including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram require its users to be at least 13 years old, although they don't require proof. This new bill wants to change that by requiring a photo ID and giving parents the authority to request the removal of their child's account.

Texas Public Policy Foundation CEO Greg Sidelar issued the following statement about HB 896:

"The harms social media poses to minors are demonstrable not just in the internal research from the very social media companies that create these addictive products, but in the skyrocketing depression, anxiety, and even suicide rates we are seeing afflict children. We are tremendously grateful for Rep. Jared Patterson’s leadership on keeping this precious population safe, and TPPF is fully supportive of prohibiting social media access to minors to prevent the perpetual harms of social media from devastating the next generation of Texans."

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