Arkansas bill would require minors to obtain parental consent before using social media

 April 8, 2023

There has been growing controversy in recent years surrounding the potential threat that social media platforms pose to minors.

In response, the Arkansas House of Representatives approved a bill this week which would require minors to get parental consent before using them. 

Governor expresses support for bill

According to Just the News, the legislation was passed on Wednesday and will now go to the state Senate. Arkansas Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said she supports it.

This is not the only time Arkansas has made headlines regarding social media, as Fox News reported late last month that the state is filing three lawsuits against TikTok and Facebook parent company Meta.

They are being filed under Arkansas’ Deceptive Trade Practices Act, a piece of legislation which prohibits companies from engaging in false or deceptive business practices.

One lawsuit accuses Facebook and Instagram of "targeting young users of its products to the detriment of their mental and physical health."

Lawsuit asserts that TikTok is tied to Chinese government

It alleges that Meta prioritizes corporate "growth at all costs," something a statement from Sanders' office contends is "rewiring how our children think, feel and behave."

Another lawsuit names the Chinese social media platform TikTok along with its Chinese parent company, ByteDance.

They are accused of promoting an "abundance of posts dealing with mature themes, nudity and drugs viewed by minors despite TikTok’s claims that such posts are unavailable to maintain teenager-approved ratings on various application stores."

A third lawsuit claims "deception by TikTok that the user data of Arkansans is safe from access by the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party."

Sanders says she is "taking action to protect our kids"

"We have to hold Big Tech companies accountable for pushing addictive platforms on our kids and exposing them to a world of inappropriate, damaging content," the governor was quoted as saying in a statement provided to Fox News.

"These actions are a long time coming. We have watched over the past decade as one social media company after another has exploited our kids for profit and escaped government oversight. My administration will not tolerate that failed status quo," Sanders insisted.

Sanders also touted the lawsuits during an interview with Fox News host Jesse Watters, telling him that she is "taking action to protect our kids."

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