Anti-TikTok Measure Fails To Advance

Anti-TikTok Measure Fails To Advance

( – Lawmakers on the state and federal level have been trying to ban TikTok for certain users for years. In December 2022, President Joe Biden approved a ban on the social media app on government devices. Several states like Montana, Texas, Virginia, and Nevada have also prohibited TikTok’s use on government devices. However, a recent push to ban the app for kids in Virginia didn’t make it into law.

On February 14, The Hill reported that a bill introduced by Republican Delegate Jay Leftwich (R) died in the Virginia Legislature. The proposed law (HB1468) would have prohibited children in the state from using TikTok and held the parents or legal guardians legally responsible for any violation. The “discrete violation” for which the plaintiff was found guilty could result in a fine of up to $75,000 per instance.

According to The Associated Press, Leftwich spoke about the bill during a committee hearing where he said he brought the legislation out of concern for young Virginian’s mental health and privacy. He said TikTok is designed to get minors (and others) “hooked into watching” videos, leading them “down different rabbit holes” and keeping them engaged for “hours and hours.” The state lawmaker put TikTok usage in the same category as drinking alcohol and smoking pot.

Democrats in the state’s legislature who opposed the measure questioned whether it was the government’s responsibility to limit children’s social media consumption instead of the parents. Another concern from Delegate Holly Seibold (D) was about fairness. The state legislator said it wasn’t fair to single out TikTok among all the social media platforms available.

The social media platform already has an automatic one-hour time limit for those under 18. TikTok spokesperson Jamal Brown said the company works hard to support teens’ mental health while using the platform. According to AP News, he believes bans trample on the First Amendment and take the “wrong approach.”

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