Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) said Sunday that he is preparing to sue social media companies for the “harm” their sites pose to children in his state.
In an appearance on CBS’s Face The Nation, Cox told moderator Margaret Brennan that she and other state officials are looking into all social media companies. He added that in the coming months, the state will file charges against those platforms to make them accountable for their actions.
“We believe that they are aware of the dangers, some of which have been leaked, Meta and others, very clear evidence that they are aware of the harm that their products cause to children , and that they intended to withhold that information,” Cox told Brennan.
“And-and- and of course not making-changes needed to protect our children, and-and so we look forward to having our day in court on that issue.”
Cox signed legislation earlier this year barring minors in the state from using social media platforms without parental permission.
Utah Senate Bill 152 requires social media platforms to verify that users in the state are 18 years or older to open an account. The bill, which is set to take effect in March 2024, also states that those residents under the age limit must open an account with the consent of a parent or guardian.
Cox also acknowledged that he is ready to face any legal challenges for his latest killing of the law.
“I’m sure we have social media companies suing the state of Utah. In fact, we will be suing social media companies for the harm and damage they are causing our young people,” Cox said. “I suspect that at some point, the Supreme Court will weigh in on this decision when it comes to restricting access to young people. What we’re trying to do is give families more control over what what happened on social media.”
This comes as a bipartisan group of senators earlier this year introduced a bill that would ban anyone under the age of 13 from using various social media platforms. They added that the bill will also require parental consent for those under 18 years old.
“What we’re trying to do is give families more control over what’s happening on social media. With suicide, anxiety, depression, self-harm, there’s a causal link there,” Cox told Brennan. . He added that the state’s goal is to give more children control over their social media experience.
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