IAP Statement on Utah Bill Protecting Children on Social Media

March 23, 2023

WASHINGTON — Will Chamberlain, Senior Counsel of the Internet Accountability Project (IAP), released the following statement after Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed into law Utah Senate Bill 152 and House Bill 311, which establish new protections for children on social media apps.

“Utah is taking a brave stand on behalf of families to protect children from the harmful effects of addictive social media apps. Even though Big Tech and their allies will certainly sue the state of Utah over these commonsense protections, Governor Cox signed the legislation and he should be commended for sticking up for Utah families. Senators Kirk Cullimore and Michael McKell, along with Rep. Jordan Teuscher, deserve special recognition for leading these bills through both houses of the Utah legislature.

“As the father of a young daughter, it is frightening that social media apps can bypass any sort of parental engagement and directly target children with addicting features that feed them harmful content. Congress must immediately consider and pass similar protections and take a meaningful step towards protecting families rather than protecting Big Tech’s profits. In the meantime, other Republican governors should follow Utah’s lead and advocate for their own version of this law. Everyone must contact their elected officials and urge them to bring similar legislation to each state legislature nationwide. The years of social media companies preying on our children to pad their extraordinary profits are coming to a close,” said Chamberlain.

Utah Senate Bill 152 would require children under the age of 18 to receive permission from parents or guardians before opening a social media account while banning those under 16 from opening accounts. That protection would go into effect on March 1, 2024, giving companies plenty of time to establish a working process to comply with the law.

Utah House Bill 311 would, among other provisions, restrict social media companies from implementing features inside of their apps that are addictive to children.

The Internet Accountability Project is a conservative grassroots advocacy organization that opposes Big Tech and seeks to hold these companies accountable for their bad acts.


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