Utah’s governor has approved two measures that may drastically alter how kids in the state use social media applications. Companies like as Meta, Snap, and TikTok would be obliged by the new legislation to obtain parental consent before adolescents could register profiles on their services. Curfew, parental monitoring, and age verification are also required by the legislation.
The legislation may have a significant impact on how social media firms handle the accounts of its youngest users. Besides from parental approval and age verification, the regulations also prohibit corporations from “using a design or feature that enables a child to become addicted to the company’s social networking platform.”
For the time being, it is unclear how Utah officials intend to execute the regulations or how they would apply to current social media accounts of juveniles. The legislation are set to go into force in March of next year.
For some time, the impact of social media on kids, particularly younger ones, has been in the limelight. The Surgeon General stated earlier this year that “13 is too early,” referring to the minimum age at which most platforms allow minors to join. Politicians in Congress and other states have also suggested legislation to limit minors’ access to social media applications.
Yet, not everyone feels that regulations prohibiting teens from accessing social media are the best strategy. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy organisation, has spoken out against the bill, claiming that it violates young people’s First Amendment rights. Similar concerns have been expressed by other organisations.