Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy took aim at social-media companies during the second GOP presidential debate, saying Wednesday night that he would aim to ban anyone age 16 or under from using those companies’ platforms.
“If you’re 16 years old or under, you should not be using an addictive social-media product — period,” said Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur who ranks fourth in GOP primary polls, according a RealClearPolitics average.
He said this move would help with improving mental health and stopping the fentanyl epidemic. Earlier, Ramaswamy had talked about a mom and dad in Iowa whose son died after the teen bought Percocet laced with fentanyl through Snapchat.
That type of ban would hit companies such as Meta Platforms
the parent of Instagram and Facebook; Snap
the parent of Snapchat; X, formerly known as Twitter; and ByteDance, the Chinese parent of TikTok.
Ramaswamy has started using TikTok in his White House campaign, and another GOP presidential candidate, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, attacked him over that at another point in the debate.
“TikTok is one of the most dangerous social-media apps we could have,” she said. “Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber.”