Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed two Law, which regulates the use of social networks by state youth. Now platforms like Meta*, Snapchat and TikTok must obtain parental consent before creating accounts for their children. The laws also talk about parental controls, age verification mechanisms and time limits on social media use.
The measures approved by the head of the region can radically change the conditions for the presence of minors in social networks. In addition to parental controls and age verification, the laws also prohibit platforms from “using designs or features that lead young people to become addicted to the social network.” The new rules go into effect next March, and it’s unclear how the state will enforce them and how they’ll apply to accounts that teenagers are already using.
The initiative met with rejection from human rights activists. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization, said the laws passed in Utah contradict the US Constitution’s First Amendment – which guarantees freedom of expression. However, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy previously said that the age of 13, which is the minimum age for registering teenagers on social networks, is “too early”. In 2021 it became known that Instagram* can have a negative impact on the psychological well-being of young people and the management of the platform company Meta* (then Facebook*) is aware of this.
* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations for which the court made a final decision to liquidate or ban activities on the grounds provided for in Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25. 2002 “On Countering Extremist Activities”.