Both Democrats and Republicans see social media as dangerous. However, both parties have different reasons.
For the Democratic Party, the key issue is the threat to national security posed by social media. The party claims that US democracy faces online threats from abroad, mainly from Russia and China.
But Republicans are calling for regulation of social media because of its impact on children’s mental health.
However, it is evident that both parties agree that the social media issue is real and requires our attention.
So Issue One, a nonpartisan non-profit organization, is creating the Council for Responsible Social Media. It will set new rules for social media platforms.
The new advice will contain Dick Gephardtformer Majority Leader of the Democratic House of Representatives; Leon Panettathe former Secretary of Defense; Denver Riggleman, a Republican congressman from Virginia; and IT industry veterans Tristan Harris and Franz Haugen.
Focus on protecting children online
One of the concerns of the new council is protecting the mental health of children online. In addition, rules for better parental supervision are also established.
A current bill under consideration in the House of Representatives is the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA). The bill will force social media platforms to introduce safeguards for minors. These online safeguards are designed to limit children’s online experience.
The bill will also give parents the power to monitor their children’s online activities. Parents could also limit their child’s online access. The restrictions in the bill apply to children under the age of 16.
However, critics argue that online restrictions prevent children from exploring the Internet. Also, restrictions will prevent children from learning about global issues.
In addition, children belonging to LGBT+ or other socially marginalized groups face problems as a result of such surveillance.
prevent attacks on democracy
The position of the Democratic Party on this matter is clear. They see unregulated social media as a threat to national security. They also accuse the Russian and Chinese governments of intentionally spreading fake news.
However, the evidence for this is limited. Nonetheless, representatives of the House of Representatives are facing pressure in their constituencies to advance the issue.
The council also includes security veterans: the former director of the CIA, Porter Gossand the former Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel.
Currently, Democrats want social media platforms to take more responsibility for finding and removing fake news. But how they will do that is not clear yet.
On the other hand, Republicans see these attempts as attacks on free speech. It’s a way of silencing dissent for the Biden administration.
Both sides agree that the political discourse in the country has become intolerant. This challenges social cohesion and unity in the United States.
The political discourse has evolved into accusations on both sides.
The dividing lines around class, origin and culture are also becoming increasingly clear. This adds to the already existing divisions over race, ethnicity and gender politics.
However, solutions to such problems go beyond any rule-making for social media platforms. Still, bipartisan support for the social media issue will be a step in the right direction.
It is evident that the new Council enjoys bipartisan support. However, critics point to its aims and methods, especially in relation to freedom of expression.
Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk has openly criticized social media. And more recently, he’s attempted to take over Twitter.
In addition, the political center speaks out against strict bans, controls and surveillance. They say it defeats the purpose of defying Chinese and Russian state practices.
Furthermore, the Council’s goal is to protect the rights and freedoms of US citizens – not to oppress them.
It’s hard to say what the Responsible Social Media Council will decide. However, the arguments put forward by both sides are worth considering.