An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Associated Press:
A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked Arkansas from enforcing a new law that would have required parental consent for minors to create new social media accounts, preventing the state from becoming the first to impose such a restriction. U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks granted a preliminary injunction that NetChoice — a tech industry trade group whose members include TikTok, Facebook parent Meta, and X, formerly known as Twitter — had requested against the law. The measure, which Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed into law in April, was set to take effect Friday.
In a 50-page ruling, Brooks said NetChoice was likely to succeed in its challenge to the Arkansas law’s constitutionality and questioned the effectiveness of the restrictions. “Age-gating social media platforms for adults and minors does not appear to be an effective approach when, in reality, it is the content on particular platforms that is driving the state’s true concerns,” wrote Brooks, who was appointed to the bench by former President Barack Obama. NetChoice argued the requirement violated the constitutional rights of users and arbitrarily singled out types of speech that would be restricted.
Arkansas’ restrictions would have only applied to social media platforms that generate more than $100 million in annual revenue. It also wouldn’t have applied to certain platforms, including LinkedIn, Google and YouTube. Brooks’ ruling said the the exemptions nullified the state’s intent for imposing the restrictions, and said the law also didn’t adequately define which platforms they would apply to. As an example, he cited confusion over whether the social media platform Snapchat would be subject to the age-verification requirement. Social media companies that knowingly violate the age verification requirement would have faced a $2,500 fine for each violation under the now-blocked law. The law also prohibited social media companies and third-party vendors from retaining users’ identifying information after they’ve been granted access to the social media site.
In a statement on X, Sanders wrote: “Big Tech companies put our kids’ lives at risk. They push an addictive product that is shown to increase depression, loneliness, and anxiety and puts our kids in human traffickers’ crosshairs. Today’s court decision delaying this needed protection is disappointing but I’m confident the Attorney General will vigorously defend the law and protect our children.”
Originally Posted at https://slashdot.org/