UK to limit teens time on social media and video games?

Mar 2012
New Hampshire
Controversial proposed legislation..

Teenagers could be limited to as little as two hours of social media and gaming a day under new Government plans. Culture Secretary Matt Hancock revealed time limits WOULD be considered under new legislation to curb the power of web giants such as Facebook and Google.

The restrictions would also take in the time kids can spend playing hit video games such as Fortnite – which was even brought up in Cabinet last week. Mr Hancock said it was too early to discuss HOW this could happen - before industry consultation later this year. But measures could range from new statutory guidelines to forcing the tech giants to impose the cap themselves using the technology at their disposal.

Speaking Mr Hancock said: “Whether you do this through parental controls or through absolute limits is an open question."

The Cabinet Minister also revealed web giants could be fined up to £1 billion for failing to verify kids are old enough to be on their platforms if they don’t change their ways. But he added parents may also be required to verify their child’s age. Online advertising directed at children may also be curbed. Ministers insisted it was not a question of if Government will introduce new internet safety laws – but what form the legislation will take.

A study in January revealed kids as young as ten were becoming dependent on social media for their sense of self worth. Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield said social media firms were exposing children to major emotional risks.