LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An internet-industry trade group has gone to federal court in an effort to stop the Arkansas Social Media Safety Act from going into effect.
The act was signed into law by Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders last April and is due to take effect Sept. 1. It requires any social media company with over $100 million in revenue to confirm any new user is either over 18 years old or has a parent’s permission before they can create an account.
The request for an injunction was filed NetChoice, LLC, a trade association representing internet industries against the state. NetChoice has previously been engaged in cases involving states that have passed laws about internet access and speech, as well as other digital freedom-of-speech issues.
The injunction request was filed June 29 in the Western District Court of Arkansas.
The act’s requirement for services to confirm that someone is over 18 years old harms access to “principal sources” for information and knowledge and interferes with a person’s right to free speech, attorneys state.
Attorneys point out that the $100 million revenue cap is unfair, putting new restrictions on larger social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram or Reddit while adding no new rules for smaller platforms like Parlor, Gab or Truth Social.
Attorneys for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, filed a formal declaration in support of the NetChoice effort on July 7.
A hearing date on the injunction has not been set.