Springfield, IL – Illinois Deputy Minority Leader Sue Rezin (R-Morris) has filed a resolution, known as the Protect Minors’ Online Mental Health Initiative, which aims to help protect minors from harmful and addictive algorithms that social media companies employ.
“It is the obligation of both state and federal officials to protect the children of Illinois from online bad actors who deal in deceptive and addictive practices,” said Sen. Rezin. “The algorithms that social media platforms create are clearly designed to generate profits by prioritizing prolonged engagement – even if that engagement is known to be harmful to the mental wellbeing of the user.”
Senate Resolution 249 notes that research shows that excessive social media use can result in negative effects on mental health, including increased rates of depression, anxiety and loneliness, and that minors are more susceptible to these negative effects due to their limited life experiences and developing brains.
“Children who use social media platforms do not fully understand the consequences that their interactions may have on themselves,” continued Sen. Rezin. “It is morally bankrupt for any company to prey on their lack of understanding for potential profits, and it is the duty of lawmakers to ensure that guardrails are in place to prevent that from occurring.”
Senate Resolution 249 urges the federal government to follow historical legal precedent when it comes to protecting minors from known deceptive and harmful advertising and enact regulations that protect minors from potentially harmful social media algorithms.