DAVE & DUJANOVIC

Utah’s social media child protection law put on hold

Jan 23, 2024, 8:00 AM

Gov. Spencer Cox delivers his 2024 State of the State address at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City...

Gov. Spencer Cox delivers his 2024 State of the State address at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. (Trent Nelson/Salt Lake Tribune)

(Trent Nelson/Salt Lake Tribune)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s new social media law has been put on hold. The Utah Social Media Regulation Act, designed to focus on child protection on online platforms, won’t take effect until October 1st.

It was originally scheduled to take effect on March 1, 2024.

The law aims to implement age verification requirements for all social media users, with additional restrictions on overnight usage, parental permissions, and direct messaging.

Gov. Spencer Cox signed the delay into effect on Friday, despite being a vocal advocate for the social media law.

“I’m not going to back down from a potential legal challenge when these companies are killing our kids,” he said.

Utah has taken the lead in proposing these changes to social media regulations, including age verification for all users and parental control over usage hours. The state acknowledged the complexity of the task, saying it is in uncharted territory.

Concerns about the social media law

Several tech companies have filed a lawsuit against Utah, saying that existing parental control features within social media platforms were sufficient. They say that this law imposes unnecessary restrictions and that it’s easy to bypass the current regulations.

The proposed law faces legal challenges from advocacy groups, arguing that it violates their freedom of speech.

“There’s a little bit of a legal mess right now,” said KSL legal analyst Greg Skordas. He also said that although the law has good intentions, it might be poorly implemented.

“It just has too many loose ends,” Skordas said. He explained that the governor and the current Utah legislature now have time to look over the bill to try to make changes and have the new version go into effect in October.

Skordas said that the social media companies involved are taking the matter seriously. And, that this is not an issue unique to Utah. Many other states have similar legislation, and Utah’s case could set a precedent for these other states.

The delay until October allows for social media companies and the state to negotiate further and potentially compromise.

Related:

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Dave & Dujanovic

olympic fashion in 2024, an example of team usa's uniform is shown...

Curt Gresseth

2024 U.S. Olympic fashion: Classic or predictable?

Are the U.S. 2024 Olympic uniforms the height of fashion or predictable, clichéd and boring?

4 days ago

Republican nominee Celeste Maloy wins Utah's 2nd Congressional District....

Adam Small

Rep. Celeste Maloy talks Republican National Convention, primary election recount

Utah Rep. Celeste Maloy said she still doesn't know if she's won the republican nomination for the Utah second congressional district house seat

5 days ago

A yellow air taxi flies across a building in a conceptual rendering....

Mariah Maynes

What’s the future of Utah transportation? One expert says air taxis

Utah is among the fastest-growing states in the U.S. Could air taxis be the answer for getting people around during the Olympics?

11 days ago

Alec Baldwin trial...

Amie Schaeffer

Alec Baldwin involuntary manslaughter trial begins in New Mexico

Alec Baldwin involuntary manslaughter trial begins with jury selection on Tuesday July 9, 2024 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

12 days ago

Peter Salm, a family member of a fatal road rage victim, shakes hands with Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Wood...

Kyle Remund

New road rage law aims to curb future incidents

Initially passed this spring, the law provides for harsher penalties for road rage incidents in an effort to prevent more violence.

13 days ago

someone taps on facebook icon, utah lawmakers working to protect kids from social media...

Curt Gresseth

Utah lawmaker talks about his work to shield kids from social media

State Sen. Mike McKell discusses the legislation he has sponsored to undo the harm to Utah children from social media.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Utah’s social media child protection law put on hold