HomeDanish PoliticsSocial Democrats propose EU ban on social media for children

Social Democrats propose EU ban on social media for children

Social Democrats launch new initiative against tech giants. In a new EU proposal, the Social Democrats are fighting to protect children and young people from harmful content on social media. The proposal, presented by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and EU lead candidate Christel Schaldemose in a commentary and an interview with Politiken, aims to prohibit access to social media for children under 15 years old. Christel Schaldemose, who is seeking reelection to the European Parliament in the June 9th election, emphasizes concern for the mental health of young people: “Our children are exposed to dangerous content and are kept on these platforms. It is simply not okay,” she told Ritzau.

One of the central elements of the proposal is the development of an age verification mechanism, inspired by MitID, which should function across EU countries. At the same time, the party will work to ban addictive designs such as autoplay and infinite scroll, as well as advertising targeting children and young people under 18 years old. The proposal comes as a follow-up to the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), where Christel Schaldemose was the chief negotiator herself. Although the existing legislation has already taken steps towards regulating tech giants like Meta and TikTok, Schaldemose believes that further measures are needed.

“The most effective thing would be if we could establish a 15-year age limit with corresponding age verification. This would ensure that our children and young people are not on a platform that makes them addicted and where there is dangerous content,” Schaldemose stated. Christel Schaldemose estimates that the decision regarding the age limit can be made within the next three years. The speed of implementation can be compared to the DSA, where the full effect took place in less than a year after the decision.

Despite increased understanding in the EU regarding the necessity for further regulation, it is a complex process with 27 member states and 720 parliamentarians. “I wish I could say that it could just be implemented right away. But what we Social Democrats are saying is that this is one of our top priorities. And that’s why we’re going down and fighting for this,” Schaldemose concluded.

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