WASHINGTON – On Thursday, U.S. Congressman Lance Gooden (R-TX) joined U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) in introducing legislation to provide American parents with a mechanism to hold social media companies accountable if their platform causes a child mental or bodily injury.
Specifically, the Federal Big Tech Tort Act imposes liability on a social media company that harms children, closes the Section 230 loophole, and allows victims to receive punitive damages from a social media company that harms them.
Rep. Lance Gooden said, “The revelation that Facebook knowingly allowed children to be harmed by its product should infuriate parents across the country.” He continued, “A social media company that has internal evidence showing this harm occurs, and does nothing to prevent it, should be liable for damages under the law.”
Rep. Gooden and Senator Hawley were alerted to this issue following the release of internal documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal showing Facebook, which owns Instagram, knew its products worsened body image issues for teen girls. Additionally, internal documents at the company confirmed their knowledge of other widespread mental health issues, including social media addiction.