Georgia Contemplates Social Media Guidelines for Children Amidst Nationwide Struggle!


Cybersecdn It’s impossible to ignore the fact that social media can have negative effects on our children, even though it does have some positive effects on our daily lives. That’s what Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones said last summer when he and state Sen. Jason Anavitarte said that cyberbullying and teens’ use of social media would be top concerns for the legislature in 2024.

Jones kept his promise and today formally introduced Senate Bill 351, also known as the Protecting Georgia’s Children on Social Media Act of 2024. This bill aims to address how social media may affect the mental health of children.

The suggested law says that social media sites must put in place effective ways to check the age of their users. The bill also says that the state Department of Education has to make and keep up-to-date educational programs that teach kids how to use social media safely. Local school systems can adopt, implement, and enforce social media rules, as long as the Georgia Board of Education looks over them. Non-compliant districts could lose state cash if they don’t follow the rules.

As of August, Jones and Anavitarte announced the plan. Since then, they have worked on the bill with leaders from business and education, people who support internet safety, and legal experts. They will continue to work with us as the process goes on, Jones said in a recent press release. “We think that SB 351 is a big step toward keeping Georgia’s kids safe and giving them the tools they need to use social media and other tech safely.”

“Methods of discouraging bullying and violent acts against fellow students and methods of promoting responsible digital citizenship and the safe and appropriate use of technology, the Internet, and social media,” are all parts of what is called a “character curriculum” for students.

Georgia Eyes Social Media Rules

Anaviarte said in a news release, “No kid should have to worry and stress about being bullied or getting threats online.” Several other states are also having a hard time passing similar rules about how teens can use social media, even though critics are very against them.

Arkansas passed a bill last year that would have forced social media companies to use third-party vendors to check the age of new account holders. However, a judge blocked the law on behalf of NetChoice, a tech advocacy group that works with TikTok, Facebook parent company Meta, and X. The judge pointed out that the law limits free speech and violates users’ rights to privacy. And this kind of opposition shows up a lot; it does so in Ohio, Utah, and other places.

After being passed by the Ohio General Assembly in July, the Social Media Operators Act was set to go into force on January 15. The bill requires social media sites to get permission from a parent or guardian before letting a child create an account. It also says that platforms must give parents ways to block or moderate inappropriate material.

Platforms must send written proof of a child’s account to their parent or guardian after getting permission. But because of a case from NetChoice, which is similar to what happened in Arkansas, the law is no longer being enforced.

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A lot of lawsuits in Utah say that the state’s planned Social Media Regulation Act is against the Constitution. The Utah bill says that social media sites must check the ages of their users, get permission from parents before letting kids use their apps, and give parents tools to control what their kids see. But Utah Gov.

Spencer Cox suddenly changed his mind and signed a bill last week that delays the state’s Social Media Regulation Act’s implementation from March 1 to October 1 of this year. This is so that changes can be made to the bill that will make it harder for people to challenge in court.

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