A United States Senator has put forth a bill called the SMART Act, which seeks to ban ‘addictive’ features on social media…
As phone manufacturers and OS developers create new digital well-being tools, one lawmaker is stepping forward to bring the federal government into the mix.
US Senator Introduces Social Media SMART Act to Ban ‘Addictive’ Features
US Senator Josh Hawley has introduced the SMART Act or Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology Act. Senator Hawley explains:
“Big tech has embraced a business model of addiction. Too much of the ‘innovation’ in this space is designed not to create better products, but to capture more attention by using psychological tricks that make it difficult to look away. This legislation will put an end to that and encourage true innovation by tech companies.”
Primarily, the bill, if passed into law, would ban infinite scrolling, forbid autoplay media, as well as disallow achievements that don’t “substantially” reward users with additional content.
The bill does provide exceptions, including music-focused social services, along with music playlists. Moreover, the proposal seeks consent choice requirements. (In other words, social networks could not bury the “no thank you” option.)
Furthermore, the bill would extend more power to the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services to regulate similar behaviors.