Digital majority: social media are “virtual pushers”, according to Legault

Digital majority: social media are “virtual pushers”, according to Legault
Digital majority: social media are “virtual pushers”, according to Legault

Social media like TikTok or Instagram are akin to “virtual pushers,” believes François Legault, who does not rule out banning their access to young Quebecers.

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“The way social media works is to make readers addicted, it’s a bit like they’re virtual pushers, like drugs, like other substances and it’s worrying,” admitted Saturday the Prime Minister, at the opening of the CAQ General Council.

About ten days ago, François Legault nevertheless rejected and even ridiculed the idea of ​​establishing a numerical majority, as suggested by his PQ rival Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.

But now, young caquistes are campaigning for the minimum age to have access to social networks to be set at 16 years. The CAQ’s Succession Commission therefore wants Quebec to be even stricter than France or even Florida, which will prohibit those under 14 from opening an account on a social network.

The proposal of young people diluted

Debated by some 600 activists gathered in Sait-Hyacinthe, this proposal from the youth wing was however diluted.

Several CAQ members went to the microphone to plead that it is not the role of the government to interfere in what is happening “in the bedrooms” of Quebecers. Against the idea of ​​setting the numerical majority at 16 years, MP Isabelle Lecours recalled that 14-year-olds are allowed to consult a doctor in complete confidentiality and without the consent of their parents.

The secretary-treasurer of the Youth Commission asked the government to take measures to protect adolescents from social networks. “We want to change things,” insisted Léa Leroux. Just because there are fast food restaurants on every street corner doesn’t mean it’s good for your health!”

Despite the insistence of the young CAQ members, the proposal was significantly modified and emptied of any obligation for the CAQ. It is therefore now a question of holding a parliamentary commission to study “the establishment of a numerical majority for minors”. The party does not suggest until what age teenagers would not be allowed to open an Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat account.

Despite everything, François Legault is of the same opinion as the young CAQ members that social media are addictive products, just like alcohol, cannabis and games of chance. “It scares me, it creates significant mental health problems among young people,” he said. I am open to taking important actions for social networks.

His Minister of Cybersecurity and Digital Affairs had not yet settled on the subject. Even though he himself has a child who has developed an online addiction, Éric Caire believes that it is healthy to think about this question.

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