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Video: Surging GOP prez candidate Vivek calls for kid social media ban

GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)
September 01, 2023

In a video that quickly generated discussion on social media, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy proposed a social media ban for children, arguing that protecting children is not a partisan issue.

“If you can’t smoke an addictive cigarette until you’re 18, you shouldn’t be able to use an addictive social media platform by the age of 15 or 16 either,” Ramaswamy captioned the video on social media. “Ban it.”

During a campaign event Thursday, Ramaswamy claimed that the idea of a social media ban for children is not a “partisan point.” Instead, the Republican presidential candidate claimed a social media ban for children is just part of solving the growing problem of social media.

Ramaswamy argued that social media is a place where companies are “preying on a psychological vacuum” with various algorithms that “give Mark Zuckerberg a deeper window into their soul than a parent has into their soul.”

To emphasize his point, Ramaswamy said a social media ban should be implemented for the “same reasons” that the United States does not allow children to smoke a cigarette before the age of 18 or drink alcohol until the age of 21.

“Kids aren’t the same as adults. I like freedom for adults. Kids aren’t adults, right? And so we have to protect children,” he said. “That’s one of my bases for saying it but actually look at the facts. It is also the main source of predatory behavior that actually begins in the online world before it moves to the offline world.”

Ramaswamy, who has been thrust into the spotlight since the first Republican primary debate, noted that a ban on social media for children is a policy that he has been vocalizing long before he announced his candidacy for president.

“We should have the courage to actually stand up and say this isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue,” he said. “This is about protecting our children and have the spine to see it through.”

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Ramaswamy’s comments have generated significant feedback on social media. On X, formerly Twitter, many users agreed with his proposal to restrict social media access for children.

“I actually agree with this. I didn’t allow my oldest access until they were 15,” one X user commented. “And I believe it helped keep them away from scenarios they weren’t emotionally ready to deal with. Not for everyone I’m sure but I believe this is a good policy.”

However, many other social media users were quick to question whether the government should be able to regulate the use of social media for American children.

“The idea seems good, but maybe it is better left in the hands of parents,” one user stated. “Perhaps ads and infomercials on the dangers of online predators would be more effective.”

Another X user blatantly expressed disagreement, writing, “On this one, we totally disagree @VivekGRamaswamy. I have this policy for my own kids, but to enforce it by federal gun on the population is a big fat ‘never’ my good sir. Let families take this one, there are bigger fish to fry.”