The governor of Utah, Spencer Coxsigned two bills that will see teenagers residing in the state having to ask their parents for permission before be able to register on a social media platform.
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What changes for teenagers who want to sign up on social media
In the Southwestern US state, parents of teenagers who want to join a social media site will first have to give their consent.
It means that platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat they will have to change their registration forms for Utah teenagers. Furthermore, the two laws certainly do not stop there. Among other obligations there is also that of set a curfew, constant parental monitoring, and age verification features.
In addition there is also a clear recommendation towards the most used platforms. The latter, in fact, will have the obligation to avoid any kind development of forms of dependence on the platform itself.
It means both design and functionality shouldn’t lead teenagers to become addicted to social media itself. Certainly a very complicated point to achieve and it is not even yet entirely clear how Utah intends to apply and enforce these two laws, just as it is not yet known how the companies behind the social networks themselves will respond.
Doubts about the functionality of these standards arise above all in relation to the fact that they will come into force by the end of this month. Yet there are apparently many rumors that have arisen in America relating to the use of social media by teenagers.
For example Surgeon General said that “13 is too early“, in a clear criticism of the minimum age required by most social networks to proceed with registration. Furthermore, other American states are also considering very similar laws to limit access to young Americans.
And yet, while it is true that some have raised legitimate concerns, on the other hand there has been no lack of criticism of this initiative. Electronic Frontier Foundationan organization that promotes digital rights, has strongly opposed the two laws passed in Utah, as they would violate the rights of young people in relation to the First Amendment.