Utah’s social media restrictions won’t be ‘foolproof,‘ governor says
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during a news conference at the state Capitol on Friday, March 3, 2023, in Salt Lake City. | Rick Bowmer/AP Photo
Utah’s recently enacted legislation restricting the way minors use social media will not be “foolproof,” the state’s Republican Gov. Spencer Cox said Sunday.
“We don’t think it’s going to be foolproof. There’s no question about that. But we are working with social media companies, again, over the course of the year, we will be going through a rulemaking process to figure out what that’s going to look like,” Cox said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The new laws, which will take effect next year, set a digital curfew on social media users younger than 18, require minors to get parental consent to sign up for accounts and demand social media companies verify the ages of users in Utah.
“We understand that there are definitely going to be enforcement issues anytime you wade into this type of an industry. It’s going to be tough. We don’t expect that we’re going to be able to prevent every, you know, every young person from getting around this,” Cox said.
“Kids are really smart. That’s one of the problems,” he told host Chuck Todd.
Though he is urging Congress to enact similar federal-level laws, states must lead when it comes to social media regulation, Cox said, predicting that other states will follow Utah’s example, despite potential legal pushback from social media companies.
“I expect other states to follow, as you mentioned, and then that helps Congress kind of coalesce and come to an agreement on how we prevent these terrible harms from happening,” Cox said. And though Utah expects legal challenges, “we feel confident that we’re going to prevail,” Cox said.