Georgia Republicans are looking to give more power to parents to determine whether children should have access to social media in a new bill that is gaining traction.
Lt. Gov. Burt Jones and Sen. Jason Anavitarte said in a news conference Monday that they are looking to pass legislation requiring children to have their parents’ explicit permission to create social media accounts. The proposal could also restrict accounts on other online services.
“It’s important that we empower parents,” said Anavitarte, a top Republican in the Georgia state Senate. “A lot of parents don’t know how to restrict content.”
The state is looking to join Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Utah, who also passed laws requiring parental consent for children to use social media. California also enacted a law requiring additional protections for children’s privacy and safety.
Anavitarte said the new rules would be modeled after a Louisiana law passed this year.
The measure, which takes effect in 2024, requires social media services to verify an account holder’s age and disallows someone younger than 18 to join without parental consent.
Some members of Congress are considering national legislation requiring parental consent for minors.
Anavitarte said he is in contact with Meta Platforms, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, and said he and Jones intend to discuss plans with the social media company.
Meta announced last year that it was taking steps to verify someone’s age, such as allowing people to upload their ID. Meta says it provides “age-appropriate experiences” for teens ages 13 to 17.
The push for more parental involvement in children’s social media use comes after U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warned in May that social media is not safe for young people.
Murthy called on tech companies, parents and caregivers to take “immediate action to protect kids now” and asked tech companies to increase transparency with policymakers to regulate social media for safety.
Social media companies already comply with current federal regulations by banning kids under 13 from signing up for their platforms.
The Pew Research Center found these restrictions are easily evaded, as up to 95% of teens ages 13 to 17 report using a social media platform.
Anavitarte also said he wants to strengthen Georgia’s law on cyberbullying by reviving his 2022 proposal requiring schools to warn students and parents that some acts of bullying could lead to criminal stalking penalties.
Fox Business has reached out to Anavitarte’s office for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.