(Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signs a bill requiring age verification before creating a new social media account as Sen. Tyler Dees, R-Siloam Springs, looks on during a signing ceremony on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark.) (Thomas Metthe/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas on Wednesday became the second state to restrict social media use by children, as Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders approved legislation requiring minors to get their parents’ permission to create a new account.
The bill signed by the Republican governor requires social media companies to contract with third-party vendors to perform age verification checks on new users. The law will apply to new accounts created starting in September.
“While social media can be a great tool and a wonderful resource, it can have a massive negative impact on our kids,” Sanders said before signing the legislation.
The proposal is similar to a first-in-the-nation law that Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed last month. Utah’s law takes effect in March 2024. Several other states are considering similar measures, touted by supporters as a way to protect children. California last year enacted a law requiring tech companies to put kids’ safety first by barring them from profiling children or using personal information in ways that could harm children physically or mentally.
Sanders last month announced the state had filed lawsuits against TikTok and Facebook parent Meta, claiming the social media companies misled consumers about the safety of children on their platforms and the protection of users’ private data.
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