You know trouble is right around the corner any time someone in government declares something a “crisis” or an “epidemic,” usually because the government then feels compelled to intervene and only makes things worse. Just had surgery but were only given eight painkillers for a week’s recovery? That’s because there’s an opioid epidemic out there, and now it’s your problem.

What we didn’t even know was a crisis was apps that have features that “addict” users, but Republican Sen. Josh Hawley on Tuesday unveiled legislation he hopes will ban things like autoscrolling — for people who are addicted to scrolling, we suppose. He calls it the SMART Act, with SMART standing for Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology.

He certainly has our attention with a ban on videos that automatically play without any user prompt. But as Bloomberg Government reports, the law would do so much more:

“Big tech has embraced a business model of addiction,” Hawley said in a statement. “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.”

The bill would also prohibit certain achievement features on websites and apps that reward continued usage of the platform, except features that substantially increase access to new features. The bill targets SnapChat’s achievement features like “Snapstreaks,” which encourage and rewards users to interact with each other for consecutive days.

Social media companies would be required to allow users to set time limits for usage, and to automatically set a limit of 30 minutes of daily usage per device unless a user opts out. Music playlists and music streaming websites, such as Spotify, would be exempt from the rules.

The bill would “automatically set a limit of 30 minutes of daily usage per device,” for real? We already can’t believe Apple went ahead and put in a “Screen Time” monitor that nags you each week about how many hours you spent on your iPad. Do you not want us to use your product?

Good point.

It’s a tricky situation because sometimes he really does seem to be trying to help in a constructive manner:

But this SMART Act? No thanks.

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