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Texas Republican working on bill to ban minors from social media

The lawmaker from Frisco, Texas, says parents don't stand a chance against social media giants.

DALLAS — It has become one of the most pressing debates in the life of a modern parent: when to allow their children access to social media and once they have it, how best to limit it.

A Republican state representative is planning to introduce a bill that would completely eliminate the guesswork for parents and ban any child under 18 from using social media in Texas.

Rep. Jared Patterson of Frisco says since he first started talking about his social media bill earlier this month, the reaction has been a mixed bag. But he says it has served a purpose.

“What it’s done, I think, the most is started a number of conversations with parents about the effects of social media on their children. And at the end of the day, I think that’s the best thing that’s come out of this so far,” Rep. Patterson said on Inside Texas Politics.

Rep. Patterson is sensitive to arguments that it could impede a teenager’s first amendment rights, as well as parental rights. But he argues the playing field isn’t currently level for parents.

“The problem is that parents don’t stand a chance when you’re talking about artificial intelligent, machine-learning algorithms on these social media platforms," Rep. Patterson said.

The Republican from Frisco says he has yet to put words to paper, so no bill is close to being ready to file.  And he says they’re still researching how’d they’d enforce it.

The 88th Texas Legislature is scheduled to convene on Jan. 10, 2023.

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