A Texas Republican introduced a bill that would ban minors from accessing social media platforms, The Dallas Morning News reports.
State Rep. Jared Patterson this week introduced House Bill 896, which would require social media users to show two forms of photo identification to verify their age in order to use the platforms.
The bill would also allow parents to request their accounts be removed from social media apps.
The legislation would empower the Texas Attorney General’s office to enforce any violations of the bill.
Most social media sites require users to be at least 13 but do not ask for proof of age.
Patterson compares social media to cigarettes:
Patterson defended his bill by comparing social media to cigarettes.
“Once thought to be perfectly safe for users, social media access to minors has led to remarkable rises in self-harm, suicide, and mental health issues.” Patterson said in a statement.
“The Texas legislature must act this session to protect children because, thus far, the social media platforms have failed to do so,” he added.
Abbott bans TikTok for employees:
The bill comes as Republicans push various crackdowns on social media platforms for a variety of reasons.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this week banned state agencies from using TikTok on government-issued phones over concerns that the Chinese government could gain access to information.
"TikTok harvests vast amounts of data from its users' devices -- including when, where and how they conduct internet activity -- and offers this trove of potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government," Abbott said in a letter to state officials.