Hawley introduces legislation to help limit time spent on social media

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) just introduced legislation that would limit the time people can spend on social media, and stop social media companies from using what he calls exploitative practices.

It’s called the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology Act.

Under the act, companies would have to eliminate things like infinite scrolling, awards associated with user engagement, autoplaying of videos and auto refresh.

It would also give users the option to set time limits for their own social media, and receive notifications about how much time they’ve spent on a platform.

Hawley said his major concern about time spent on social media is data mining — companies selling user information to advertisers. With less time on social media, he said people will be able to keep their online behavior and patterns to themselves.

“The idea is to try to empower parents and adults and consumers to have control over their own information and be able to make their own choices,” Hawley said.

Hawley said he came up with the legislation in response to conversations with parents who wanted to have more control about how they raised their children.

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