June 27, 2023
Arkansas has joined Utah and Texas in passing a bill requiring age verification for children using social media in this case the Social Media Safety Act. However, the law has attracted criticism from some conservative policy analysts over its explicit carve out for the biggest social media platform for teenagers: Google-owned YouTube.
The Social Media Safety Act requires age verification to show a user is over 18 or else requires minors to have parental consent before starting a social media platform. The Arkansas legislation was passed shortly after Utah enacted a similar law in March. Greg Abbott signed another parental consent bill in Texas last week.
Mike Davis, founder and president of the Internet Accountability Project, said the bill was a good first step, but that streaming services should also be held accountable. “The bill is a good first step because it focuses on the most pernicious platforms like TikTok and Instagram,” said Davis.
“However, legislators should continue their work to ensure parents are empowered to protect young people in Arkansas from harmful content on YouTube and Twitch,” Davis continued. “Other states would be wise to pursue similar legislation as well. One such state that’s passed model legislation is Utah.”
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Unlike the Big Tech monopolies, the Internet Accountability Project pledges to never sell or share your personal information, which is your property.