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Laurie Schlegel’s son came home one day from his private Louisiana secondary school and told his mom that an eighth-grade peer tried to show him internet pornography during the school day.
The story is hardly remarkable considering its presumed frequency, but the response was noteworthy. Schlegel is a certified sex-addiction therapist and a newly elected legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives. This past February, Schlegel introduced House Bill 142 to her colleagues. The representative told The American Conservative that the act would create a “civil cause of action against commercial entities that publish and distribute material for minors on the internet that don’t verify the age of their users first.” In other words, Louisiana parents would be able to sue entities that distribute sexually explicit material for damages if the entity failed to take legitimate steps to verify the age of its users.
Detractors will say, “Imagine the scandal! The state cannot (or at least should not ) get involved in something as private as pornography.” Not hardly: Schlegel’s age-verification legislation passed unanimously in both chambers of her state’s legislature, was signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards in June, and will take effect in 2023.
This is the sort of thing that scholars at the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) and the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) have been waiting for. Last month, those think tanks published a joint report titled “Protecting Teens from Big Tech: Five Policy Ideas for States.” The legislative brief draws a connection between social-media and pornography consumption among teens and concerning sociological trends, including increases in teen depression, self-harm, sleep deprivation, suicide attempts, and suicide.
The authors of the report evidence a simultaneous frustration with Congressional inaction and anticipation for creative state-level solutions. Both Clare Morell, a policy analyst at the EPPC and the […]
They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
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