NJ To Require Teen YouTubers, Influencers Parental Permission To Earn From Content

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In an unprecedented move, New Jersey has passed a law requiring teenagers under the age of 18 who want to create content for platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram to obtain parental permission before they can post. This New Jersey social media law, signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on Friday, aims to protect young internet personalities from exploitation and ensure their online activities are supervised.

The law, which will take effect starting July 1, 2024, is the first of its kind in the United States and comes in response to growing concerns about social media effects on teens and about the safety and well-being of minors in the digital space. Under the new rules, social media companies will be required to verify that teen users have received social media parental consent or approved by a egal guardian before they can create an account or upload content. This will apply to all users residing in New Jersey who indicate they are under 18.

Governor Murphy emphasized that while the internet offers immense opportunities for creativity and expression, it also poses significant risks for young users. “This legislation seeks to ensure that our children’s ventures into digital content creation are done under the guidance and supervision of an adult,” Murphy stated during the signing.

The law also stipulates that parents must be involved in the decision-making process regarding the types of content their children can post, and they must be made aware of any potential revenue generated from such activities. The aim is to prevent economic exploitation and ensure that any earnings are managed in a way that benefits the minor.

Social media platforms are required to develop and implement age-verification tools to comply with the new regulations. Companies that fail to enforce these rules could face fines and other penalties, which have yet to be fully detailed by the state.

The legislation has received mixed reactions. Supporters argue it is necessary to safeguard minors from the pressures and potential dangers of online fame. Critics, however, claim it could stifle young creators’ freedom of expression and creativity and burden platforms with cumbersome regulatory obligations.

As the law’s implementation date approaches, both proponents and opponents are keenly watching to see how this novel approach to digital content regulation among minors will unfold in New Jersey and potentially set a precedent for other states.

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