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Utah legislature approves two bills regulating social media companies

A man holding up a phone showing the "Instagram" app
Solen Feyissa

Two bills aimed at regulating social media companies have been approved by Utah lawmakers on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 152, sponsored by Sen. Mike McKell, passed with a 22-4 vote. The bill requires social media companies to verify the ages of users on the platform and will require users under the age of 18 to get their parents’ consent to open or maintain their accounts. The bill will also limit the amount of hours of access a minor will have on their social media accounts.

House Bill 311, sponsored by Rep. Jordan Teuscher, also got approved by the Senate with a 25-2 vote, sending the bill back to the house for another vote. The bill will make it easier to sue social media companies over harm done to children and will prohibit companies from using designs or features to cause a minor to have an addiction to the platform.

Both of the bills have been met with some opposition, but will move forward for more voting

The current legislative session ends on Friday.

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.