Lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require social media platforms to implement features to address social media addiction and combat harmful use.
U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) have introduced a bill called the Social Media NUDGE Act, which is aimed at preventing addiction and slowing the spread of harmful content.
The bill would ask researchers with the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to study ways to address the problem of social media addiction and misinformation.
Based on those findings, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could create rules that would hold social media platforms accountable for failing to take steps to address the problem.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar said:
“For too long, tech companies have said ‘Trust us, we’ve got this.’ But we know that social media platforms have repeatedly put profits over people, with algorithms pushing dangerous content that hooks users and spreads misinformation. This bill will help address these practices.”
Congress has been looking hard at the issue since last year, when Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen warned about the risk of addiction and mental health issues due to social media platforms.
Facebook and Snap have also recently been hit with a number of lawsuits involving angry parents who blame Instagram and Snapchat for causing their teenager’s suicide, depression, and other harms.