social media

Arkansas social media age verification law struck down by federal court

BY: - August 31, 2023

A federal judge on Thursday blocked Arkansas’ new social media age verification law aimed at protecting children online hours before it was set to take effect. The law — a priority of Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders — would’ve been the first of its kind implemented in the U.S., requiring new users on large social networks […]

Federal judge considers blocking Arkansas social media verification law

BY: and - August 15, 2023

A federal judge said Tuesday he plans to decide whether to block Arkansas’ new social media age verification law before its effective date, Sept. 1.  Act 689, passed in April, requires large social media companies to use a vendor for “reasonable age verification” before allowing access to their sites. Those under 18 may only access […]

Arkansas ACLU files amicus brief in social media age verification suit

BY: - July 14, 2023

The ACLU of Arkansas on Friday filed a proposed amicus brief in a federal lawsuit challenging a new state law that requires social media platforms to verify new users’ ages.  NetChoice, a tech trade group whose members include Meta (Facebook), Twitter and TikTok, filed a federal lawsuit in June that argues Act 689 of 2023 […]

Judge limits Biden administration contact with social media platforms in censorship case

BY: - July 4, 2023

A federal judge on Tuesday prohibited Biden administration officials from communicating with social media platforms about “protected speech,” a ruling emerging from litigation originally filed by former Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. The ruling, by Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, granted a temporary injunction barring […]

Internet group files federal suit against Arkansas over new social media age verification law

BY: - June 29, 2023

A tech trade group sued Arkansas in federal court on Thursday, challenging a new state law that requires social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to verify new users’ ages. NetChoice — an association whose members include Meta, Twitter and TikTok — argue in the lawsuit that Act 689 of 2023 violates the First Amendment […]

A teenager uses a laptop with a phone nearby. States are passing laws designed to keep kids away from social media and porn sites, but the effectiveness of the laws is being questioned by opponents and challenged in court. (Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Getty Images)

Lawmakers try to keep kids from social media, porn

BY: - June 12, 2023

To address the harmful effects of pornography and social media on children, states are passing laws meant to keep kids off certain sites and to block them from adult content. But the efforts face major hurdles — and real questions about whether the proposed solutions would even work. Some of the measures would require parental permission for […]

Members of a U.S. Senate committee on Thursday detailed a complicated patchwork of issues that contribute to youth mental health challenges, including violence and trauma within schools and communities, the damaging effects of social media, worry about what a changing climate will look like when they’re adults and hate speech against LGBTQ people. (Getty Images)

Social media, trauma, hate speech add to youth mental health crisis, U.S. Senate panel told

BY: - June 8, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. senators agreed during a hearing Thursday the country’s children are going through a youth mental health crisis, though some of the committee’s members disagreed about what role Congress has to play. Senators detailed a complicated patchwork of issues that contribute to youth mental health challenges, including violence and trauma within schools and […]

The headquarters of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama on February 8, 2023. (Brian Lyman/Alabama Reflector)

Hate groups’ political influence growing, watchdog says

BY: - June 6, 2023

WASHINGTON — More than 1,200 hate and anti-government extremist groups were active across the United States in 2022, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s latest report on the nationwide prevalence of extremists who target people of color, LGBTQ people, Jewish communities and other religious minorities. While the overall number of hate and anti-government groups […]

Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders marked 100 days in office on April 19, 2023, with a speech in front of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion and an audience of lawmakers, state officials, political leaders and her father and mother, former Gov. Mike Huckabee and First Lady Janet Huckabee. (Photo by Sonny Albarado/Arkansas Advocate)

Arkansas governor touts major accomplishments of first 100 days

BY: - April 19, 2023

With her parents and many Arkansas legislative leaders watching Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders reminded her audience that she “came here to shake things up.” With a spring breeze fluttering the flags behind her, Sanders spoke from a lectern set up outside the front doors of the Governor’s Mansion to mark her first 100 […]

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew takes questions from Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 23, 2023. (Getty Images)

One state already has voted to ban TikTok. For Congress, it’s going to be much tougher.

BY: - April 18, 2023

As TikTok has mushroomed to more than 150 million monthly U.S. users, so have warnings among both state legislators and members of Congress about its potential danger as a tool of the Chinese government. Dozens of states and the federal government this year banned public employees from downloading the popular app on their government devices. […]

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signs SB396, to create the Social Media Safety Act, on April 12, 2023, with bill sponsors, Rep. Jon Eubanks (left), R-Paris, and Sen. Tyler Dees, R-Siloam Springs. (Photo by Randall Lee/Governor's Office)

New Arkansas social media age verification law could complicate student-athletes’ publicity efforts

BY: - April 12, 2023

Austyn Dendy, a junior student-athlete at Pine Bluff High School, has college offers from numerous universities, including Tulane, the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the University of Mississippi.  Recruiters discovered Dendy and other outstanding Arkansas athletes like him through his high school coaches’ networks but also on social media.  Dendy, who participates in football, […]

Arkansas Legislature passes social media age verification bill over privacy, speech concerns

BY: - April 6, 2023

Social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, must start verifying the ages of Arkansans creating accounts later this year. The soon-to-be law, given final legislative approval on Thursday, seeks to protect children from the pitfalls of social media, but it has drawn concerns about data privacy and free speech rights. New users under age 18 […]