BATON ROUGE, La. (KPEL News) - Should a minor need parental consent to be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc.? One lawmaker from Covington thinks so.

We have a mental health crisis not only in the state but this country and more and more evidence is pointing to the detrimental impact that social media is having on developing minds...We’ve had rising rates of suicide and bullying. You’re seeing some of this play out in our everyday lives.

Dan Kitwood, Getty Images
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

Those are the words of Republican Senator Patrick McMath, who is a father of four young children, to our news partners at Louisiana Radio Network. Like many parents, he is concerned about the effects of social media on his children and is deciding to use his position as a lawmaker to proposed legislation that he believes will help parents make informed decisions.

When Facebook whistleblower, former data scientist Frances Haugen, made the startling claim "I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy," before the U.S. Congress, that left many parents that much more concerned about the social media platform's effects on their children.

In addition to citing the above testimony, McMath cites research published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry that reports that children who use social media more than three hours a day may be at risk of internalizing problems.

How Would Louisiana Senator Patrick McMath's Bill Affect Children's Use of Social Media?

McMath's bill would do four things, as reported on by LRN:

  1. Require a minor have parental consent to have a social media account.
  2. Enact a social media curfew from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
  3. Would place age and time restrictions only on social media platforms that have five million or more users.
  4. Outlaw companies from storing data of minors or advertising to minor account holders.

Will McMath's bill make it easier for parents to sue companies who they believe are negligent? McMath thinks so. He also acknowledges his legislation is modeled after Utah's, as explained in detail by PBS. Since Congress has not passed national privacy laws and restrictions following that whisteblower's testimony, some states are seeing fit to take action.

The bill will be heard during the Louisiana Legislative Session, which began on Monday, April 10.

Dangerous & Harmful Social Media Challenges Parents Should Be Aware Of

You have to know about them before you can do something about them.

18 Examples of Negative Social Media Trolls

Simply posting something on social media can open yourself up to every troll on the internet. A viral video of an Indiana mom banging her head on a microwave door has brought out some ridiculous comments.

Fun and Free for Kids and Parents in Lafayette

It seems like the cost of everything is going up. If you're a parent you want to take your kids out to enjoy our area, but it would also be nice to know where you can go and find attractions that don't cost anything.

More From News Talk 96.5 KPEL