Most Americans Support Regulating Minors’ Access to Social Media

Photo from Robin Worrall via Unsplash

Most Americans Support Regulating Minors’ Access to Social Media

By Movieguide® Contributor

As laws regulating minors’ access to social media begin to pop up around the country, a Pew study reveals that most Americans – particularly adults – support this type of legislation.

The study, conducted over September and October 2023, asked American adults and teens whether they would support certain regulations on social media, such as requiring parental consent, age verification and time limits.

Adults were very supportive of these regulations, with the most support behind parental consent (81%), followed by age verification (71%) and time limits (69%). These regulations saw very little pushback, and each question saw only one in 10 U.S. adults saying they would oppose legislation for each issue.

Teens were less supportive of these measures. However, they showed that, in general, they had some interest in regulating access to social media for them and their peers. Forty-six percent of teens supported mandatory parental regulation to create a social media account, compared to 25% who opposed this idea.

Age requirements were even more popular, as a majority (56%) of teens supported better-enforced age requirements on social media platforms. Most social media platforms currently require users to be older than 13, but they do very little to enforce these guidelines.

While there is a significant difference in opinion between teens and adults, the study found that the high levels of support among adults were largely consistent across political lines. Perhaps this is why legislation on this topic has quickly reached congressional floors.

Last year, Arkansas, Utah and Montana passed laws regulating minors’ access to social media, and the legislative action has only continued into 2024. Already, Ohio and Florida have taken action to limit social media use within their states.

Lawmakers are also taking action to hold specific companies accountable for the negative impact their platforms have had on young users. Last October, 41 states sued Meta for intentionally making its services addictive to exploit young users.

Movieguide® previously reported:

A recent court document revealed that Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, intentionally designed its platforms to hook kids and teens.

“Company documents cited in the complaint described several Meta officials acknowledging the company designed its products to exploit shortcomings in youthful psychology such as impulsive behavior, susceptibility to peer pressure and the underestimation of risks,” the Associated Press reported.

According to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, Meta received millions of warnings and complaints about minors on Instagram. Even though the amount of underage users was an “open secret,” Meta only disabled some of those accounts.

Watch THE CHOSEN: Season 1: Jesus Loves the Little Children
Quality: - Content: +4
Quality: - Content: +2