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Plans to ban Texas kids from social media



A new bill in Texas is planning to ban children in the state from using social media

A state representative in Texas has developed a bill, proposing banning all minors from using social media platforms.

The bill wants anyone under the age of 18 in the state prohibited from using all social media. This includes platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

HB896 introduced by Texas Rep. Jared Patterson, will require all social media users to prove their age.

Patterson wants put measures in place to protect children from harmful mental health effects of social media.

The legislation will ban accounts being created by minors. It will also require photo identification to verify that users are over the age of 18 before an account is approved.

The bill will also allow parents to request account removal of their child, and grants enforcement of deceptive trade practices to the Office of the Attorney General if violated.

“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.”

Greg Sindelar, CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation

Patterson described social media sites as “the pre-1964 cigarette,” with the public believing they were safe before in-depth research provided evidence of their harmful effects.

If the bill is passed, it will be the first of its kind to prohibit minors using social media platforms. It will lookregulate the likes of Meta, and ByteDance regarding minors using its platforms.

Both TikTok and Instagram have minimum age policies requiring users to be at least 13 years of age.

While both platforms enforce age verification measures, users under 13 are still on the platforms. This means parents are largely left to police their children’s use.

Some platforms try to address this issue by providing a range of safety tools for parents.

The level of government intervention proposed in Texas will be interesting to observe if it is passed and how it will be enforced.

It will also be fascinating to watch the societal and cultural impacts of such legislation and if other governments will also jump on board if it is effective.

By Dr Karen Sutherland, University of the Sunshine Coast and Dharana Digital

Dr Karen Sutherland is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast where she designs and delivers social media education and research. Dr Sutherland is also the Co-Founder and Social Media Specialist at Dharana Digital marketing agency focused on helping people working in the health and wellness space.

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This Ticker Original takes you behind the scenes as designers look to the future of flight. #aviation #boeing #aircraft

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A.I. to be used to detect fires in Colorado



A Colorado Senate committee has voted to use A.I. to detect blazes before they burn out of control

The $2 million pilot program would involve putting cameras on mountaintops, and using the technology to detect the early signs of a wildfire.

The deployment of A.I. is part of an ongoing effort by firefighters, to use new tech to become smarter about how they prepare and better position their resources.

Lookout towers once staffed by humans have largely been replaced by cameras in remote areas, many of them in high-definition and armed with artificial intelligence to discern a smoke plume from morning fog.

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