House Bill Would Ban Minors From Having Social Media Accounts

Des Moines, Iowa — A bill to ban any Iowan under the age of 18 from having accounts on TikTok, Instagram, or any other social media site has cleared its first hurdle in the Iowa House, but bill backers are planning changes in the legislation.

House Speaker Pat Grassley says Republicans want to start a conversation about how social media companies are collecting data about children — but, more importantly, about how smartphone apps and online platforms are impacting the mental health of Iowa kids.

House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst says lawmakers should let parents control their children’s social media use.

Utah has just adopted a law that requires minors to have parental consent for social media accounts. A key GOP lawmaker in the Iowa House says the plan is to adjust their bill so Iowa parents would have to sign off on social media accounts for teenagers, but Iowa children under the age of 13 would not be allowed to have one. A recent study found 40 percent of kids under the age of 13 were using apps like TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.