The state of Utah in the United States has recently passed a bill that prohibits minors under the age of 18 from using social media without their parental consent. The bill, known as HB 72, was signed into law by Governor Spencer Cox in March 2023 and is set to take effect on May 5, 2023.
Under the new law, social media companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram must obtain verifiable parental consent before allowing minors to create accounts or use their services. This means that parents or legal guardians must provide explicit consent and authorize their child’s use of social media.
The law aims to protect minors from potential online risks such as cyberbullying, identity theft, and exposure to inappropriate content. Supporters of the bill argue that social media can be addictive and may have negative effects on children’s mental health, making it important for parents to have control over their child’s social media use.
Utah on Thursday became the first US state to require social media sites to get parental consent for accounts used by under-18s,
Critics of the bill argue that it may be difficult to enforce and may lead to further challenges for social media companies. Additionally, some argue that the law may infringe on the First Amendment rights of minors by restricting their ability to access information and express themselves online.
Utah is the first state in the United States to pass such a law, although other states have proposed similar legislation in the past. The law has received mixed reactions from parents, educators, and social media companies.
Social media companies have not yet indicated how they plan to comply with the new law, but it is likely that they will implement new age verification measures to ensure that minors are not accessing their services without parental consent.
placing the burden on platforms like Instagram and TikTok to verify the age of their users.
Utah’s new law prohibiting minors from using social media without parental consent is a significant development in the ongoing debate over online safety and children’s access to social media. While the law aims to protect minors from potential online risks, it may also lead to further challenges for social media companies and may infringe on minors’ First Amendment rights. As the law takes effect, it will be important to monitor its impact and effectiveness in addressing the challenges of online safety for minors.