This is a one size fits all solution to what should be a parental oversight issue.
It is an attempt by a Republican Governor to use an emotion filled social issue to claim that he is doing something to 'protect the children' to keep focus off of his NRA connections.
Teens are impulsive but they are not stupid - and the first thing that will happen for any blocked teen will be for them to find ways around the blocking - especially those that might be more prone to the negative aspects of social media and hide their involvement from parents.
It would be more helpful to broadly teach how people can be abused, tricked, mislead and/or misinformed by the internet and social media and the issues involved with group think instead of independent assesssment of the information that they are being peddled. Other countries have done this to ensure their children and general populace can recognize those who exploit or victimize others, Our country should as well.
- LeslieG 04/06/2023
Shouldn't this be up to parents to decide. Seems like the government should make sure technical tools (hardware & software) provide adequate tools to parents to set limits.
Settings need to defaulted to limits but allow parents to over ride with their own limits.
- Frank_001 04/06/2023
Next, we will have the Thought Police*.
No thanks to government oversight to social media access.
"In the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), by George Orwell, the Thought Police (Thinkpolin Newspeak) are the secret police of the superstate of Oceania, who discover and punish thoughtcrime, personal and political thoughts unapproved by Ingsoc's regime. The Thinkpol use criminal psychology and omnipresent surveillance via informers, telescreens, cameras, and microphones, to monitor the citizens of Oceania and arrest all those who have committed thoughtcrime in challenge to the status quo authority of the Party and the regime of Big Brother."
- Lesley 04/07/2023
Kids need far more parental supervision especially when it comes to their internet access. I know it's not easy. I was a single parent for a while and had to work 3 jobs. But kids should never be behind closed doors while on line.
Not to be picky, but I have a problem with this quote above,
"There are so many children who might be in abusive households who might be LGBT, who could be cut-off from social media entirely."
Why wasn't "There are so many children who might be in abusive households, who could be cut-off from social media entirely." Good enough? Why add "who might be LGBT"? Are kids in abuse households not good enough to be protected?
- Brian 04/06/2023
I'm not opposed to this, but it seems difficult to monitor and enforce. Teens will find ways around it, and parents will likely help, so what then? Will Utah start arresting parents?
It would be better if we had nationwide standards for what young people can access on social media, but clearly that's not going to happen.
- MrGeer 04/07/2023
this is silly, and potencialy dangerous for teens who may need an escape from an oppressive family environment. A young gay teen may be thrown out of there home just for being gay. even children are entitled to some privacy.
- The Rev Dr Edward 04/08/2023
It all depends on who is doing the limiting and what agenda they are pushing.
It appears when parental supervision is lacking and children are being hurt physically or mentally the state feels it needs to move forward. I am not sure what children need cell phones with internet access or unsupervised computer access. But that is just me, our kids are all raised. Only the last two needed to use the computer and only the last one used our cellphone to call us after a school event.
- LeslieG 04/07/2023
Other states besides Utah (PA, LA, AR, TX, OH, NJ) are considering similar legislation but will face both legal and technical challenges.
Similar attempts have not survived 1st amendment challenges in court as young people also have 1st amendment rights. Ironicly, the information required to identify minors, parents, guardians, etc, actually gives social media companies more private data.
Additionally how do you identify parents, guardians, etc and how will disputes (adoptions, foster kids, divorces, etc) be handled and resolved? Or do kids just wait for adoptions & divorces to complete over months & years?
Have the companies modified their apps and tools to enforce the curfew? What about new applications? Who wil enforce this? The App stores?
"Young people have First Amendment rights,” writes an EFF representative, adding that federal attempts to restrict internet content access “generally have not withstood constitutional scrutiny when challenged” in courts. Privacy advocates also argue Utah’s laws will ironically give social media companies even greater access to users’ private data via ID verification requirements, as well as disadvantage many young Utahans by limiting informational access. "
"how to authentically determine a young person’s parent or legal guardian, as well as instances involving custody battles or abuse allegations. “Once you create mechanisms for parents to snoop on their kids’ social media activity, they’ll be abused by others,”
Once again the government is sticking their nose in where it don't belong. To make matters worse, The Church of Laterday Saints" runs Utah. By setting such regulations in place takes the responsibility away from the parents so they can work their backsides off to support church and state instead of raising their children themselves. Parents need to be allowed to raise their children as they see fit and don't need some "holier than thou" idiot interfering. This is another rediculous law being put in place. Life is a learning experience and if we don't make mistakes, we never learn. The Divine knew what he was doing when he gave mankind FREE WILL. Shame that religion and government can't understand this principle. Raise your children right and there will not be any problem and laws such as this will not be necessary.
- Kevin 04/07/2023
I don't know if this will help protect children from predators, traffickers, or peer bullying that results in teen suicide, but if it does in the long run, it will have been worth it and provide a model for other states.
- SITMWY 04/07/2023
Instead of a requirement for parents to "opt in" for their children, a better solution would be for them to "opt out".
- RoyB 04/07/2023
As a few commentators suggest, shouldn't parents be the ones to decide that?
18 years is maybe too draconian?
Ideally - maybe parents need to talk to their kids more and have a better understanding of what kids do with their smartphones and go from there? And do it periodically...
- Jean 04/07/2023
CAUSES TELLS ME, THEN ASKS: " Utah has become the first state to require social media companies to gain parental consent for minors to use their apps and to verify users are at least 18, a move the governor said will protect young people online. Should more states do the same?" ME: Maybe. Clearly there is a growing teen mental health crisis and that has been linked, in part, to social media. Requiring parental consent to use social media may be a good thing. Noticed the hours per day children and young people are on-line with it (addicted, I'd say) -- more hours than they are in school -- and couldn't help thinking that if parents had assserted more television control over the kids I taught back in the 1970s, perhaps we'd have a more knowledgeable, thought-full, and less conspiracy-theory-led bunch of adults today. Given the terrible showing of American young people on international achievement tests in reading, math, and science (near the bottom) requiring parental consent for social media seems a small step in the right direction.
- Paul 04/07/2023
Depends on the parents, depends on the child. One size does not fit all, which is the problem with laws like this. Good intentions don't always make for good legislation.
- Hope 04/07/2023
This is just the beginning; give the government an inch, and they'll take a mile.
- justiceforamerica 04/07/2023
Nothing good has ever come of Social Media - especially for children who by the way you Dems want to screw-up at every turn. You know - promote pedophilia - like what Dems support and Biden is.
Can't wait for term limits and you all getting plain old Social Security, and Medicare. Live like us peasants eh... How do you get rich in office eh?
- Dawn 04/07/2023
FINALLY! Something that holds PARENTS accountable regarding their children, rather than allowing "nanny states" more freedom.