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Lawmaker wants kids under 13 out of social media

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A recent study shows Filipinos spent the longest hours on social media. A recent cases were also reported wherein young children below 13 are having seizure because of long exposure to gadgets. This might be one of the reason why a lawmaker wants to keep kids under 13 years old out of social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Deputy Speaker and Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez filed House Bill 5307 or the Social Media Regulation and Protection Act of 2019 to limit the use of social media and to provide protection for children and minors.

Under the proposed House bill, social media companies — such as the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — will be required to strengthen its features restricting users under the age of 13.

Fernandez said he wants to prohibit “social media companies from collecting personal and location information from anyone under 13 years of age without parental consent, and from anyone between 13 to 17 years old without the user’s consent.”

“With the advent and creation of social media, children and adolescents’ every move is monitored online, and even the youngest are bombarded with advertising when they go online to do their homework, talk with friends, and play,” read the bill’s explanatory note.

“This demonstrates that in the digital age of the internet, social media corporations create a global footprint that easily influences our modern conceptions of choice, leisure and reality. Children and teens are at the epicenter of a pervasive-driven digital marketing system that is woven into the very fabric of their lives,” he said.

“Hence, there is a need to pass a legislation that puts children’s well-being on the top priority. If anything, children deserve a strong and effective protections online,” he added.

If passed into law, the act will also mandate all netizens to be limited to just 30 minutes a day on a social media platform, in all devices.

Aside from protecting children’s privacy online, Fernandez said his bill also “champions consumer protection.”

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