Utah Restricts Youth Access to Social Media
Utah recently became the first state in the nation to pass laws restricting youth access to social media platforms. Signed by Republican Governor Spencer Cox, two bills were passed that will have a major impact on how children under 18 use social media.
The first bill requires minors to get parental permission before using any social media platform. This means that parents must approve of their child’s account before they can begin using it. The second bill puts a curfew on social media usage for minors, prohibiting them from using any platform between 10:30 pm and 6:30 am.
These new laws are intended to protect minors from potential dangers associated with unrestricted access to social media platforms. According to Utah State Representative Karianne Lisonbee, one of the sponsors of the legislation, “We’re trying to protect our kids from predators and cyberbullying and all sorts of things that can happen when you’re online without your parents’ knowledge or supervision.”
The bills have been met with both praise and criticism from various groups. Supporters argue that these restrictions are necessary in order to keep children safe online, while opponents argue that they infringe on the rights of minors and could lead to censorship of certain types of content.
Tech companies have also expressed concern about how these laws will be enforced. They worry that it could be difficult for them to verify whether or not a minor has received parental permission before signing up for an account. Additionally, they are concerned about how they will be able to enforce the curfew restriction without monitoring users’ activity 24/7.
Despite these concerns, Utah is moving forward with its plans and expects the law to take effect on March 1st, 2024. It remains unclear if other states will follow suit or if this law will ultimately prove effective in protecting minors online.