The law may force you to show your ID on Facebook and Twitter

Rep. Chis Stewart (R-Utah) introduced one last week the bill which requires social media platforms to verify the age of each registered user and prohibit registration of children under the age of 16 But this bill will not serve the interests of young teenagers or adults

HR 821, which was introduced by Stewart House Committee on Energy and Commerce, requiring the platform to verify age using official identification, such as a birth certificate or driver’s license. The bill will apply to any platform that allows users to create accounts for posting, sharing or viewing user-generated content (UGC). Also, to cover, a platform’s primary purpose must be to promote UGC.

This broad definition of “social media” may be interpreted by regulators to include messaging, video and email services, none of which are expressly excluded from the Act’s provisions. And unlike many recent proposals to regulate online life, the bill does not establish a market cap threshold to exempt smaller platforms from collecting sensitive information from users — which would be expensive to protect and threaten users’ privacy when it comes to data. leak.

“Here [bill] protecting [children] Protecting them from the environment and from the total immersion that consumes them and begins to destroy their value or sense of self-worth,” Stewart to say Fox News. To CNN’s Jake Tapper, Congressman Labeled TikTok “Emotional Heroine.”

There is Stewart quoted Information From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make his case about adolescent mental health, but the 2021 report he often cites that online socialization developed The mental health of many adolescents during the pandemic: “[S]Students who were physically connected to others during the pandemic had a lower prevalence of poor mental health during the pandemic (35.5% vs. 42.0%) and in the past 30 days (28.7% vs. 36.8%), persistent feelings of sadness or depression (41.9% vs. 51.7%), and suicidality. “Seriously considering an attempt (18.4 vs. 24.9%), and attempting suicide (8.0% vs. 12.2%) compared to those who had virtually no contact with others during the epidemic.”

It makes no sense to predict sweeping regulation as a response to an epidemic-driven adolescent mental health crisis, especially since that crisis appears to have been at least partially mitigated by online social interaction.

The bill would further infringe on the liberties of adults.

“Mandatory age verification would mean that every user would be forced to hand over identifying information before accessing or talking about legal content on social media — an exciting proposition that courts will strike down as easily as they have in the past,” said Ari Cohn, Free TechFreedom. Advice, say because. “For someone So worried related to Government targets People with dissenting views, it’s interesting that Stewart proposes to eliminate anonymous speech and effectively create a database of dissenters.”

Stewart’s office was not immediately available for comment becauseIts findings on the potential harms of reducing online anonymity.