Statement on the Signing of Utah’s Social Media Regulation Act
SAN FRANCISCO, March 23, 2023— Today, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed HB 311 into law, which prohibits social media companies from using design features that cause a minor to become addicted to that platform. Jim Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, a kids tech advocacy organization, issued the following statement in support of the new law.
"Today's signing of HB 311 is a huge victory for kids and families in Utah. And this law adds momentum for other states to hold social media companies accountable to ensure kids across the country are protected online. Common Sense strongly encourages other states to adopt legislation like what Utah has just accomplished.
"This year, California lawmakers have the opportunity to pass similar legislation to hold social media platforms liable for using addictive design features and amplifying harmful content to kids and teens. New Jersey is also considering similar legislation in the State Senate and Assembly. The safety and mental well-being of kids and teens depend on legislation like this to hold big tech accountable for creating safer and healthier experiences online.
"Unfortunately, Governor Cox also signed SB 152 into law, which would give parents access to their minor children's posts and all the messages they send and receive. This would deprive kids of the online privacy protections we advocate for. The law also requires age verification and parental consent for minors to create a social media account, which doesn't get to the root of the problem– kids and teens will still be exposed to companies' harmful data collection and design practices once they are on the platform.
"Now is the time for other states, like California, New Jersey, and others, to join Utah and hold tech companies accountable for the well-being of young users. We urge other state lawmakers to look to HB 311 as a model on how to hold platforms accountable for their addictive design features, instead of putting the burden on parents to keep their kids safe online."
About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.