When it comes to almost everything, including guns, Republicans are quick to put all the responsibility on the users best judgement, you know, to avoid regulation. They say the government isn't the answer to everything, and certainly shouldn't be telling people what to do in their personal lives...except maybe social media?
This nanny state Republican Senator doesn't just want to ban things, but he also doesn't care how his legislation would derail the way these social media companies pay for themselves. And if they can't make money, you guessed it, we as consumers will start paying monthly premiums. Not a good idea, and it would also price out many more low income users:
NPR: A new legislative proposal by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., would ban elements of social media he views as addictive ... (in) social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Concerns with technological addiction are merging with rising political anger against Big Tech.
That concern is huge in China, which already controls what their citizens see on the internet, so we want to be like a communist country? Do we want to go there?
Hawley's proposal strikes at the heart of how social media companies make money. "Their business model is based on user engagement and time spent on the platform. ... Certainly they're using sophisticated psychological measures like the auto-play feature and others to keep people on the platform," said Lindsay Gorman, a fellow for emerging technologies at the German Marshall Fund, explaining just how crucial these sorts of features are to the big tech companies.
Hawley assumes Americans can't think for themselves:
"Their business model is increasingly exploitative in nature and I think that these are companies that are trying to evade accountability." The freshman Missouri senator drafted a bill that would:
1. Require social media companies to tell users every 30 minutes how long they've been on a platform each day.
2. Make illegal the concept of "infinite scroll," which endlessly populates apps with additional content.
3. It would also prohibit the auto-play of video and audio.
Sorry, auto play is something every user can set up for themselves. It also appears Hawley just woke up to the fact that social media has been using our media habits to make money. Outrageous?
"The big tech platforms have adopted a business model that takes our private information without telling us, sells it without our consent, and then it tries to use exploitative and addictive practices in order to get us to spend more time on their platform, so they can take more stuff from us," he said. Hawley's legislation isn't likely to pass.
Give Racist Nationalism a Platform? Or is this just another effort to stop private companies from blocking what they want, according to their own business model and social media identity? No surprise, this is really all about letting white nationalism, racism, fascism and right-wing political content continue to have a platform:
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, a champion of free markets, seems at least open to it. "Nobody wants to see a federal speech police. But at the same time allowing a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires to be the censors of all political speech in America is a terrible outcome. And so I think Sen. Hawley's bill is a positive step in the right direction," Cruz said.