Shoshana Weissmann, social media manager and fellow at the policy research organization R Street Institute, tweeted that issues related to social media weren’t the federal government’s problems to fix. Though some of the features the bill mentions can be used in harmful ways, taking them away would interfere with how many Americans use apps.
“In certain cases, surely it can be nefarious, but just like any tool, it has good and bad, and he ignores all of the good that it does,” Weissmann told NPR.
While Hawley’s bill alleges that certain social media features “substantially impede freedom of choice,” Daisy Soderberg-Rivkin, also a fellow at R Street Institute, said that prohibiting these features would more likely diminish the user’s autonomy.
“He treats users a lot of the time like they’re this kind of mindless drones who have no ability to make their own decisions,” Soderberg-Rivkin said. “But at the end of the day, he has to realize that empowering users to make their own decisions will go a lot further than imposing restrictions by the government.”