DES MOINES, Iowa — A bill that made headlines when it was first introduced at the Iowa Statehouse is now seeing some tweaks. The bill that would limit minors’ use of social media is seeing amendments in committee meetings.
The bill now doesn’t ban minors from using social media platforms, it bans social media companies from collecting data from minors without parental consent.
The bill puts the burden of parental consent on social media companies, meaning they would have to figure out some way to get parents to sign off.
Democrats support the legislation, but they want to narrow down the definition of “social media companies.”
“I am afraid that the definition of social media platform is still a little too broad. I am afraid there is going to be unintended consequences in terms of school access potentially and places like Linkedin,” said Iowa State Representative Elizabeth Wilson, (D) District 73.
Republicans say that this does not impede Iowans’ First Amendment rights.
“I’m a believer in rights, I don’t want to violate First Amendment rights I don’t want to violate someone’s free speech. We are not going to allow social media platforms to collect data on our children. That doesn’t violate anybody’s rights. If a parent wants to give permission for a child to be on a social media platform, then that social media platform can collect information on that child,” said Iowa State Representative John Wills, (R), District 10, Spirit Lake.
The bill says that social media companies would be subject to a $1,000 fine for violations.
The bill cleared committee Monday, meaning we could see debate on the House floor very soon.