Judge temporarily blocks Arkansas parental social media consent law

A federal judge temporarily blocked an Arkansas law that requires parental consent for children to create social media accounts.

District Judge Timothy L. Brooks of the Western District of Arkansas granted the preliminary injunction in response to a motion by Netchoice, a trade group for technology companies that has members including Facebook parent company Meta; TikTok; and X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The law had been set to go into effect Friday.

“We’re pleased the court sided with the First Amendment and stopped Arkansas’ unconstitutional law from censoring free speech online and undermining the privacy of Arkansans, their families and their businesses as our case proceeds,” Chris Marchese, director of the NetChoice Litigation Center said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing the law struck down permanently.” 

Utah became the first state to require parental consent for minors to open a social media account in March. The Utah law won’t go into effect until March 1, 2024.

Georgia Republicans also announced a legislative push for parental social media consent law earlier this month. Georgia’s lieutenant governor and Senate majority caucus chairman said they plan to introduce a law aimed to make platforms take concrete steps to verify the age of their users during the state’s 2024 legislative session. 

The Hill has reached out to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office.

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