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Internet trade company association asks Kemp to veto legislation requiring user age verification

Kiichiro Sato

A trade association of internet companies is asking Gov. Kemp to veto legislation requiring social media platforms to make “commercially reasonable” efforts to verify the age of users. Senate Bill 351, which the Georgia House and Senate passed last week on the final day of this year’s legislative session, is aimed at protecting young people from cyberbullying and other negative effects of social media.

One industry representative argued that such a mandated verification requirement for social media access is unconstitutional. In a letter to the governor, the general counsel of NetChoice said Georgia would be better served by abandoning age verification efforts for social media and instead pursuing legislative efforts to improve online literacy for minors and their parents. The bill’s supporters cited numerous studies that have found overuse of social media to pose a significant danger to young people, particularly girls, increasing their risk of suicide.

Senate Bill 351 would apply the age-verification requirement to minors, meaning Georgians under the age of 16.

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