A new US bill has proposed a ban on autoplaying videos on YouTube, Facebook’s infinite newsfeed and Snapchat’s Snapstreak badges.
The Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (Smart) Act takes aim at techniques and features that, according to its author, Republican Senator Josh Hawley, are created to encourage and deepen addictive behaviours among users.
The bill targets “practices that exploit human psychology or brain physiology to substantially impede freedom of choice” and specifically prohibits four general practices:
“Big Tech has embraced addiction as a business model,” Hawley said in a tweet. “Their ‘innovation’ isn’t designed to create better products, but to capture attention by using psychological tricks that make it impossible to look away. Time to expect more & better from Silicon Valley.”
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