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Bill designed to limit youth social media usage advances in legislature


A bill designed to cut back youth access on social media is advancing in the legislature.

Senate Bill 152 passed a Utah State Senate vote with 28-1 in favor of passing the bill. First introduced by Sen. Mike McKell, the bill has been slightly changed from its first few drafts, with McKell saying that the newest version of the bill will no longer require ID for age verification.

Rather than having that idea be bundled with SB152, McKell introduced a substitute bill focused on creating an age verification system through an administrative rule, allowing social media companies and the state to explore other ways of handling age verification. However, due to delayed implementations of the bill, it has been pushed back to 2024.

McKell’s bill also focuses on blocking targeted advertisements aimed at youth by blocking them from searches and by imposing stricter data privacy. According to McKell, social media companies know their products are toxic for teens and purposely design their products to be addictive.

The bill will face another vote in the Senate.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.