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Not to ban teenagers from social media: Google to US Congress

Google has asked the US Congress not to ban teenagers from social media, urging lawmakers to drop problematic protections like age-verification technology. The tech giant released its ‘Legislative Framework to Protect Children and Teens Online’ that came as more lawmakers, like Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), pushed for the Kids Online Safety Act, a bill intended to protect kids from dangerous content online. 

Kent Walker, President of Global Affairs, Google and Alphabet, said the framework outlines some principles for laws seeking to improve online experiences and keep children and teens safer when using the Internet. 

“We hope that sharing our experiences and perspectives will advance the work of the policymakers and experts addressing these issues, and we look forward to engaging constructively with them,” Walker said late on Monday.

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The company said it agrees with public health and mental health experts that technology companies have a responsibility to design and build better online experiences. 

“As policymakers contemplate these issues, they should carefully consider the broader impacts of these bills and avoid side effects like blocking access to critical services, requiring people (including adults) to submit unnecessary identification or sensitive personal information, or treating an older teen the same as a younger child,” Google argued. 

Lawmakers in the US have called on tech companies to stop targeting ads to kids. In its framework, Google says platforms should ban the practice “for those under 18″. YouTube published its own set of principles for protecting kids on Monday, laying out how the platform implements some of the guidance from Google’s policy framework. 

In a blog post, YouTube CEO Neal Mohan said the platform doesn’t serve personalized ads to kids and provides parents with a set of family controls. 

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