Social Media

‘Mission Impossible’ masks, bad data and immature tech dog age verification for social media

Another state signed a law restricting minors’ use of the platforms. But the continued growth in technology as well as “low-tech fraud” could make enforcement more difficult.

Anxiety over squatters inspires a wave of legislation

Opponents of the bills call the trend a ‘manufactured crisis’ that could affect legitimate tenant protections.

Banning TikTok won’t solve social media’s foreign influence, teen harm and data privacy problems

COMMENTARY | Protecting Americans cannot be accomplished by banning a single app. To truly protect their constituents, lawmakers would need to enact broad, far-reaching regulation.

New Florida law bans kids under 14 from social media

It is the latest in a series of efforts by states to regulate social media in a way that protects minors and stands up to legal challenges. But opponents say Florida’s law still runs afoul of the First Amendment.

Supreme Court appears wary of restricting government action to control misinformation

The justices' skepticism in the case has state and local election officials breathing a little easier as they worry about misinformation efforts ahead of November elections.

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Supreme Court clarifies when public officials can block citizens on social media

The Supreme Court unanimously found in a pair of cases that whether a government official can block a constituent on their personal social media account hinges on if a post is a state action or is private conduct.

If schools won’t ban kids’ cellphones, some lawmakers say, they will

Florida now bans cellphones during class, and lawmakers elsewhere like the idea.

States push feds for greater online privacy protections for children

A bipartisan coalition of 43 attorneys general is urging the Federal Trade Commission to expand the definition of “personal information” to keep up with changes related to smartphones and social networks that play an increasing role in everyone’s life – including children.

Americans are skeptical of online age verification, even as its use grows abroad

States are turning to technology to verify users’ ages before allowing access to social media and other content. But the approach faces an uphill climb without a national data privacy law that addresses Americans' concerns about the safety of their personal data.

Justices appear skeptical of states' social media censorship laws

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases challenging Florida and Texas laws designed to prevent the alleged censorship of conservative viewpoints on social media. Observers say the decision could shape the future of free speech on the internet.

Social media declared a ‘public health hazard,’ as efforts to rein it in ramp up

New York City Mayor Eric Adams made the announcement last week, while Florida lawmakers advanced a bill banning accounts for anyone under 16 years of age.

States push ahead with social media laws amid legal challenges

Utah delayed its efforts for litigation purposes, while a judge blocked an Ohio law. But that hasn’t stopped other states, most recently Idaho and New York, from introducing their own restrictions to protect minors.

‘Super mayor’ goes viral amid salary ordinance controversy

Tiffany Henyard, the mayor and supervisor of two suburbs in Illinois, spearheaded a bill reducing a potential successor’s salary if she loses her 2025 reelection bid. It’s the latest in a long line of alleged misdeeds by the charismatic and controversial political figure.

States’ efforts to regulate social media will face greater scrutiny in 2024

Many of the laws passed in 2023 against social media platforms have been challenged in court. But states appear undeterred as they continue weighing ways to curb social media’s effects on young people.

Federal judge temporarily blocks Montana’s TikTok ban

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy said in his preliminary injunction that the first-of-its-kind state law “likely” violates the First Amendment. A trial to review its legal authority could still reinstate the ban.

Want to attract Gen Z workers? Up your marketing game.

A contest asked young workers to mock up job ads that would convince their peers to work in government technology. Here’s what public officials can learn from those ideas.

As state sues Meta, it also urges social media literacy instruction for kids

The key is making sure that children understand the difference between harmful screen time and quality screen time, one observer says.

New anti-violence PSA may hit home, but change depends on follow-up and other factors

The US attorney for the District of Maryland recently released a PSA to help stem the tide of violence in the state. But will it work?

Social media cases hinge on definition of what amounts to state action online

The U.S. Supreme Court wrestled in two important cases over whether public officials acted improperly in blocking constituents on their personal social media accounts.

States’ lawsuits pile up against social media companies

A multistate coalition filed suit against Facebook parent Meta, accusing it of damaging young people’s mental health and illegally harvesting their data. It is the latest in a long line of actions taken against social media platforms to reckon with the growing youth mental health crisis.