Oklahoma House Passes Bill Requiring Age Restriction on Social Media Accounts

KOKH - March 19, 2024 5:52 am

A bill that would put an age restriction on social media in Oklahoma passed through the House this week.

House Bill 3914, authored by State Rep. Chad Caldwell would limit social media accounts for minors, requiring account holders be at least 18 years old, or have parental consent for those aged 16 to 18.

HB 3914 would place restrictions on social media usage for minors, not allowing anyone under the age of 16 to have an account, and requiring parental consent for minors 16+.

“This simply adds age verification social media account,” Rep. Caldwell said, “We’re talking about your large social media entities, so you’re talking about those related to meta so Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, basically those.”

The bill leaves it up to the different social media platforms to decide how to verify age, stating a few reasonable verification methods including a digitized ID card or any commercial reasonable age verification method.

However, some lawmakers are concerned about how the age verification could be done.

“Can I ask you to please consider what commercially reasonable methods is because online search beyond having to upload a copy of your state-issued ID which is a concern for many parents,” said State Rep. Melissa Provenzano, “But the other pieces that I’m finding through third-party vendors are you know, looking at your cell phone records, biometric age… you know, all these concerning things.”

Rep. Caldwell says the bill is intentionally broad, to allow social media platforms to develop their own age verification system.

“We’re trying to intentionally make it broad,” he said, “So we’re giving some opportunities to some of the most technologically advanced companies in the entire world to develop some different systems that can do that in a way that doesn’t require some of those things.”

According to the legislation, any company that violates the act by not requiring age verification is subject to a $2,500 fine, and the Attorney General is authorized to take legal action.

HB 3914 passed through the house floor on Thursday with a 69-14 vote.

If the bill makes it to the Governor’s desk, it would take effect immediately after being signed into law.


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