The Utah Eagle Forum strongly supports the efforts of the Utah Legislature to ensure the safety of children online by implementing the Utah Social Media Regulation Acts of 2023. Here's a comprehensive overview of the legislation:
Legislation Overview: In 2023, the Utah State Legislature passed two landmark bills, SB 152 and HB 311, collectively known as the Utah Social Media Regulation Acts. These comprehensive laws were enacted to address the significant and evolving challenges posed to children and young people by social media platforms.
Under SB 152 and HB 311, the state of Utah has taken proactive steps to hold social media companies accountable for their role in safeguarding the well-being of young users online. The legislation introduces a range of measures aimed at protecting minors and ensuring responsible behavior within the digital realm.
These measures encompass strict age verification requirements for adults seeking to establish or maintain social media accounts in Utah. Additionally, parental consent is now mandated for users under the age of 18, granting parents or legal guardians a pivotal role in overseeing their child's online activities.
Furthermore, social media companies are obligated to provide parents or guardians with full access to their child's social media account, fostering a sense of transparency and accountability. To promote healthy sleep habits, a default curfew setting has been established, which restricts overnight access to minor accounts (from 10:30 pm to 6:30 am); this setting can be customized by parents to suit their preferences.
The legislation also introduces stringent safeguards to protect minors from unapproved direct messaging and ensures their exclusion from search results. Importantly, social media companies are prohibited from collecting data from minors, targeting their accounts for advertising purposes, or employing addictive design features that specifically target this vulnerable demographic.
The enforcement of these groundbreaking regulations falls under the purview of the Division of Consumer Protection, which is authorized to take administrative or civil actions against companies found in violation of these new laws. Starting from March 1, 2024, individuals and organizations can report violations to the Division, underlining the state's commitment to ensuring the online safety and well-being of its young citizens.
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