News & Politics

Josh Hawley Wants to Be Your Social-Media Babysitter

Republican Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley talks to the media after a debate against incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Social media has a lot of problems. First and foremost is that, as Linda Richman might say, it’s neither social nor media. Plus, Silicon Valley is completely biased for the Democrats. I’ve been fraudulently suspended from Twitter more times than I can remember. But I don’t want government to regulate these guys. I don’t want what Josh Hawley is selling.

Emily Birnbaum, The Hill:

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a freshman who has emerged as a top Republican critic of major technology companies in Congress, on Tuesday will introduce a bill banning social media companies from building “addictive” features into their products.

Hawley’s Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act would make it illegal for social media platforms to hook users by offering them more content than they requested…

For example, it would ban YouTube’s “autoplay” feature, which loads up new videos for users automatically; Facebook and Twitter’s “infinite scroll,” which allows users to continue scrolling through their homepages without limit; and Snapchat’s “streaks,” which reward users for continuing to send photos to their friends.

In other words, it would take innovative features away from everybody, just because some people can’t handle them.

I’ve got a better idea: personal responsibility. That’s what Republicans are all about, right? Or at least they used to be.

Does the government really need to step in and protect you from yourself? Shouldn’t you be the one who decides what you put in your own body and your own mind? Why would you ever want to give anybody else that power? Why should my liberty be infringed because you don’t care about your own?

If you’re having trouble with any of the features Sen. Hawley wants to regulate, here’s a simple three-step process you can follow:

  1. Find the offending app on your electronic device
  2. Delete it
  3. That’s it, nothing else needs to happen

I don’t need a babysitter, and I certainly don’t need Congress deciding what I can do online. If you do: Why?