SALT LAKE CITY (LifeSiteNews) — Utah Republican Gov. Spencer Cox signed new laws Thursday imposing new regulations on social media accounts, including limits on their use by minors and parental oversight, in the name of protecting children online.
S.B. 152, the Social Media Regulation Amendments, requires all social media users in the Beehive State to confirm they are 18 or older in order to set up an account and for minors to receive consent from their parents to do so, let parents access their children’s accounts, imposes a default curfew on social media usage that parents can adjust, forbids direct messaging of minors by strangers, keeps minors out of search results, and forbids data collection and targeted advertising on minors’ accounts.
H.B. 311, the Social Media Usage Amendments, makes social media companies liable for “any addiction, financial, physical, or emotional harm suffered as a consequence” of using their platforms. Both measures have cleared both chambers of the state legislature.
In addition, the state government has set up a new “Utah Protecting Minors Online” website, where residents can find more information on the law and the rationale behind them, as well as file complaints related to social media with the Utah Department of Commerce.
We’re no longer willing to let social media companies continue to harm the mental health of our youth. Today we signed two key bills in our fight against social media companies into law:
➡️ SB152 requires social media companies to verify that users in https://t.co/GVAcSi9zHx… pic.twitter.com/M1Kbya1xQi
— Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox (@GovCox) March 23, 2023
Youth rates of depression and other mental health issues are on the rise because of social media companies. As leaders, and parents, we have a responsibility to protect our young people.
Check out https://t.co/GVAcSi9zHx, our new website where you can learn more about the new… pic.twitter.com/zz5dRkdKVn
— Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox (@GovCox) March 24, 2023
“When it comes down to it, [the bill] is about protecting our children,” S.B. 152’s lead sponsor, Republican state Sen. Michael McKell, told CNN. “As a lawmaker and parent, I believe this bill is the best path forward to prevent our children from succumbing to the negative and sometimes life-threatening effects of social media.”
“We can assume more methods like the Utah bill could find their way into other states’ plans, especially if actions are not taken at the federal level,” predicted ABI Research analyst Michael Inouye. “Eventually, if enough states implement similar or related legislation, we could see a more concerted effort at the federal level to codify these (likely) disparate state laws under a US-wide policy.”
While not discussed as often as Big Tech’s censorship of political views that conflict with the left-wing views held by most platform owners, children’s safety on social media platforms remains a subject of ongoing concern. Facebook, for instance, has been sued over teenage trafficking victims who met their pimps via its Facebook Messenger and Instagram platforms.
There are countless reasons to conclude modern sex-education is less about critical thinking and more about indoctrinating and sexualizing children at as young an age as possible.
Consider these 3 questions:
- Why are politicians around the world pushing radical transgender theories on children as young as 5?
- Why is the World Health Organization calling for 4 year-olds to be taught how to masturbate?
- Why are children in schools being shown graphic images of sex and told anything goes so long as consent is established, if not to encourage our sons and daughters to become sexually active?
A sane society would try to shield impressionable children from becoming sexualized, and encourage them not to watch pornography, take puberty blockers or mutilate their genitalia, but our schools increasingly promote these behaviors.
In reality, the media, most politicians, and many education chiefs are obliterating a parent's ability to protect their child's innocence and identity.
We must realize: these elites want children to have THEIR values, not YOURS. SIGN THE PLEDGE!
The results of this explicit, inappropriate sex-saturated culture and education have been startling: there have never been more children claiming to be transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual, nor have we ever seen such high levels of sexual assaults by minors.
BREAKING: Loudoun County father who was dragged out of woke school board meeting reveals his daughter was 'raped' in the girls' bathroom by a 'skirt-wearing' male student who was arrested for assaulting a SECOND girl months later - but staff did nothinghttps://t.co/awoZcVQx3l— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) October 12, 2021
This nut could end up being your child’s teacher and you wouldn’t even find out the craziness they’re teaching until your kid tells you about it. If you aren’t disturbed after watching this, you’re a lunatic. School choice is the civil rights issue of our generation. pic.twitter.com/y1V3Rotx9k— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) August 17, 2021
Countless politicians, media personalities and education chiefs are too busy promoting woke trends to realize that sexualizing minors amounts to grooming, and has devastating consequences in many cases.
Children whose inhibitions are broken down risk addiction to pornography, teenage pregnancy, STDs, gender dysphoria, online shaming, and a whole host of other negative outcomes.
Parents, not the government, must be in control of what their child is taught about sex.
Just listen to the type of materials public schools in the U.S. are promoting:
That's why we are asking you to sign the Parents' Pledge that you will pull your children out of sex-education classes if your school chooses to sexualize your child.
The Parents' Pledge is our best chance of winning back our children's schools before they're entirely lost to radical sex-obsessed teachers' unions who are foisting these curricula on teachers.
Do you really want other adults deciding what your child is exposed to? Of course not.
Please share this brand new grassroots Parents' Pledge with like-minded parents and join a growing movement of mothers and fathers who are wise to the threat of their child being led into sexual activity.
Most teachers are disturbed by their unions' push to sexualize children
Planned Parenthood tells middle-schoolers about avoiding parental consent for abortion and contraception
The corrupting influence of sex-education is causing widespread abuse among school children
Their lawsuits accuse the company of negligence and product liability on the grounds that the platform offers “a point of first contact between sex traffickers and these children” and “an unrestricted platform to stalk, exploit, recruit, groom, and extort children into the sex trade”; and that the company failed to warn of or prevent its platform being used for sex trafficking, and even benefitted from the practice.
In 2021, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Facebook could be held accountable for the crimes, as federal law allows states to hold websites civilly liable for facilitating human trafficking, whether through action or inaction.
Tech giants’ exploitation of users’ personal data is another are of ongoing concern, particularly in light of last fall’s revelations that Apple, for instance, can personally identify individual iCloud accounts, and by extension the name, email address, and data associated with it, despite public assurances to the country. Such concerns have prompted calls for legislation cracking down on companies’ access to user data without consent.