Social Media Age-Limit Bill Passes House

Mar 14, 2024
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Chad Caldwell, R-Enid, today passed a bill in the House that would limit social media accounts for youth.

House Bill 3914 would require social media companies to verify account holders are over the age of 18 or to confirm parental consent for those aged 16 to 18.                  

"We know that social media is incredibly harmful to teens and that social media platforms have intentionally targeted our children through the use of algorithms," Caldwell said. “While the dangerous effects of social media are felt by all ages and all sexes, social media is especially harmful for teenage girls as demonstrated by rates of self-harm and anxiety increasing by 100% and 140% respectively.”

In October 2023, Oklahoma joined 40 other states and the District of Columbia by filing suit against a social media platform for knowingly using features on its platforms that caused children to use them compulsively through powerful and unprecedented technologies to entice, engage, and ultimately ensnare youth and teens.

“The real question isn’t whether or not social media is a danger to our children, but rather how do we best regulate these dangerous platforms,” said Caldwell. “I want to be clear, this bill in no way targets the content that is found on social media. Instead, we are simply taking the necessary steps to protect our children from an addictive product that is verifiably dangerous to children and teenagers just like we do with alcohol, tobacco, adult websites, gambling, etc.”

The measure states that “nothing in the bill should be construed to limit the content found on social media platforms or prohibit minors from posting content on other platforms, digital or otherwise, that they legally have access to."

Caldwell said he hopes House Bill 3914 is the start and hopefully the continuation of a conversation that is happening all over the country. He said similar measures have passed in several states, most recently in Florida, and there is pending bipartisan federal legislation as well.

The bill now advances to the Senate where it is authored by Sen. Ally Seifried, R-Claremore.

The bill contains an emergency clause meaning it would take effect immediately after being signed into law by the governor. 

Oklahoma House of Representatives seal