A bill to ban social media platforms from allowing minors to have their own account without parental consent passed in the Louisiana Senate. ABC 31 News Joel Massey has more from some local residents on what they think of the proposal.
Pineville resident Jean Forsburg said, “On the one hand I think that there’s a lot of dangers out there for having children having access to social media and going to sites and doing things possibly having bullying done. There’s a lot of social problems that come from having children being bullied. Suicide rates have increased from having children being bullied on the internet.”
Forsburg has mixed feelings about a bill passed by the Louisiana Senate 37 to 0 that would prohibit children under the age of 15 from having their own social media accounts without their parents’ permission.
“On the other hand there is some good that’s come from having social media access to things. I think that parents have to take the responsibility and educate themselves as to what their children are accessing on the internet and what kind of sites they are going to.”
The bill also seeks to limit time that a minor can use social media platforms and Forsburg thinks that may encourage kids to be more active.
“For instance childhood obesity is a big problem in our country and in our state and I think that children probably spend more time sitting in front of a computer or doing social media when they could be outside getting exercise and maybe developing other outside interests that might be better for them ultimately.”
Pineville resident Judy Williams supports the bill.
“These young children don’t understand the evil and the bad stuff that’s out there. They can get caught up into it without even realizing it so I think the parents should be in control of that so that they can monitor what their kids are seeing on social media.”
Dry Prong resident John Yesko doesn’t think that the bill is a good idea because it is not enforceable.
“That would be hard to do because first of all they don’t watch their children as it is that monitor them on anything, kids are out running wild, the parents have less control of their child now than when I was growing up. So I don’t think it would work. It’s like so many other things they can promise you this, they can say we’re going to do that but it isn’t going to happen.”
The ban on social media use for minors would only go into effect if funds are allocated for investigation and enforcement by the Attorney General’s Office. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.