Senator Josh Hawley introduced the SMART ACT, ( Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology Act). The point of the bill, if passed, is watching over the addictive nature of online media platforms. Scrolls, autoplay, and streaks would be outlawed. The content would be gentler, and as The Hill describes, “userfriendly”. The content by Sen. Hawley’s concern is psychologically injuring consumers.
Are Consumers Psycho?
Sen Hawley again from The Hill,
“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.”
The bill prohibits social media companies using internet practices which are brainwashing consumers.
Human Psychology vs. Marketing
As mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg’s ban on big soft drinks was a distraction from larger health and healthcare issues. Prohibition of large cups of delicious drinks will not wipe out obesity as calories next to food items and may trigger other eating disorders. Marijuana will be regulated because the market will create better strains and more potent products.
The 1998 tobacco industry settlement reached with 46 states, focused on youth. The reason is direct marketing towards young consumers. Restrictions included no cartoons to be used. In 2014, the New York Times estimated that only 1.9% of settlement and tax money would be used for tobacco prevention. Many state bonds depending on tobacco taxes will begin to default in the year 2026 per the article. All because the tobacco industry created a product which may have more nicotine and was good at marketing. A prohibition is not an alternative option.
Senator Hawley is Growing Government
Senator Hawley and his fellow senators will not take shifts monitoring the platform companies like YouTube, Facebook, Snapshot or Twitter. The Smart Act will give the authority for creating rules to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The authorities must review each rule every three years. The SMART ACT would give the FTC,