WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats and Republicans are vowing to take action to better protect kids using social media.
The Senate will hold a hearing Tuesday to discuss the issue.
During his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden called on Congress to “stop big tech from collecting personal data on our kids.”
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say regulations protecting children’s privacy online are overdue.
“Parents should be able to go to big tech and say, ‘Give me everything you have on my kid and delete it,'” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said.
Hawley said that’s just the start. He’s also pushing legislation to ban kids from social media until they’re 16.
“Force the social media companies to actually verify the age,” Hawley said. “This would be tremendous help to parents.”
Right now, most social media sites require users to be at least 13. But the U.S. surgeon general is now recommending parents keep children off social media even longer.
Hawley said he also wants to ban TikTok.
On ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Congress is examining how that platform could pose a national security theat.
“It’s something that should be looked at. We do know there’s Chinese ownership of the company that owns TikTok,” Schumer said.
This is not the first time lawmakers have promised to crack down on social media giants. In 2021, a Facebook whistleblower revealed internal studies linking increased thoughts of suicide and depression among young people to time spent on Instagram.
During Tuesday’s hearing, lawmakers will hear from parents and mental health professionals to determine the best way forward.