A Lawmaker Wants To End ‘Social Media Addiction’ By Killing Features That Enable Mindless Scrolling

The bill by freshman Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. – the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act – would make it illegal for social media companies such as Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat to use infinite scroll, autoplay video or techniques like Snapchat’s “streaks,” which reward a user with badges for repeated use.

…It proposes regulatory measures that would force users to actively choose to engage for prolonged periods rather than being mindlessly sucked into the void.

The bill would require platforms to implement “natural stopping points,” or places where a video or post stops and the users are prompted to click or select another piece of content, rather than it appearing or playing automatically.

…Too much of the ‘innovation’ in this space is designed not to create better products, but to capture more attention by using psychological tricks that make it difficult to look away. This legislation will put an end to that and encourage true innovation by tech companies.”

…”Studies have shown that tech companies utilize computer design techniques embraced by casinos, like the idea of “stickiness” – which give “just enough positive feedback to want to return to the game but deny users enough pleasure so that they don’t get satiated.”

Baltimore Jewish Life | A Lawmaker Wants To End ‘Social Media Addiction’ By Killing Features That Enable Mindless Scrolling



Mike Pence abruptly cancels New Hampshire trip, reason unclear

Randy Gentry, a representative from Pence’s office, announced the event was canceled.

“There’s been an emergency callback,” Gentry told those waiting. “The vice president was asked to return to Washington so at this time we’re going to cancel today’s event.”

Farah, however, said Pence never left Washington.

“There was no “emergency callback,” she tweeted.

A Defense official confirmed that the aircraft never took off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. The flight was cancelled by the requestor, the official said. 

…A White House official confirmed there was no medical issue related to the president or the vice president.

Mike Pence abruptly cancels New Hampshire trip, reason unclear