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March 29, 2023

A New Utah Law Would Limit Teens Access to Social Media

Ask Students: How would teens be limited in using social media under this law?


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A new law in the state of Utah could dramatically limit teenagers’ access to social media platforms. It requires anyone under 18 to get parental consent to join social media platforms, forces platforms to give parents access to children’s posts and messages and sets a social media curfew for minors. Geoff Bennett discussed the law with Utah State Sen. Mike McKell, who introduced the legislation. For a transcript of this story, click here.

Remote video URL

Discussion Questions

  • Who is interviewed for this story, and what is his background?
  • What law has State Sen. Mike McKell proposed?
  • Why is the law important, according to McKell?
  • How would teens be limited in using social media under this law?
  • How would the law be enforced, according to McKell?

Focus Questions

Do you think the government (state or federal) should have any role in limiting social media use for young people? Why or why not?

Media Literacy: Why do you think this story focused on an interview of a backer of the bill, and not any of its critics?

Extension Activity

A CDC report on teen mental health is mentioned as part of the inspiration for the bill. You can read a summary of the CDC report here, or follow the link to the full report. After reading about the report, discuss — would this law or others like it address any of the problems discussed in the report?

Lesson Plans for Digital Citizenship and Safety

Help students become more critical consumers of what they see online with these free preK-16 lesson plans and resources on digital safety and media literacy.

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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