October 26, 2023

Governor candidate Brad Chambers proposes online child safety plan

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Brad Chambers said in a Zoom call on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023 that his campaign will focus heavily on policy issues.  - Screenshot of Zoom call

Republican gubernatorial candidate Brad Chambers said in a Zoom call on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023 that his campaign will focus heavily on policy issues.

Screenshot of Zoom call

Republican gubernatorial candidate Brad Chambers wants to create measures aimed at helping protect children online.

Chambers said his campaign will focus heavily on policy issues, and he’s starting with online child safety because it puts an “exclamation point” on the fact that children are critical to Indiana’s present and future.

“Addressing the challenges that parents have in today’s technology environment is super important to just make a priority,” Chamber said.

His proposal would require stricter age verification on social media, gaming platforms and adult sites. And it would limit data collection of users under age 18.

“[Tech companies] should be shoulder-to-shoulder with us on protecting our children and playing the long game with Americans,” Chamber said. “Instead, they’re not. They’re playing the short game and they’re mining our kids’ data.”

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The plan would also require education in schools about the benefits and dangers of social media.

“We gotta be careful not to overburden not only our educators but our kids with these issues,” Chamber said. “But this is fundamental, I think, and foundational.”

Age verification measures in other states have repeatedly run into constitutional problems. But Chambers said it’s worth trying, regardless.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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