Yay or nay?
A new legislation has been signed by the governor of Utah and it has since attracted mixed reactions from the public. The controversial law aims to block pornographic content on mobile devices.
Signed last March 23, Utah’s H.B. 72 requires all smartphones and tablets sold in the state to have automatic filters for adult content. If the said feature is not available in a device, the manufacturer can be fined if a minor accesses harmful content online.
Governor Spencer Cox said the legislation is hoping to send an “important message” about protecting children. Critics of the law, however, have a lot to say about it.
Attorney Jason Groth of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Utah pointed out:
“This is another example of the Legislature dodging the constitutional impacts of the legislation they pass.”
Others also mentioned that parental controls have always been available on iOS and Android devices. Anti-pornography advocacy group National Center on Sexual Exploitation, however, said that these filters are often complicated, “leaving most parents helpless to protect their kids online.”
Adult movie star Cherie DeVille likewise expressed opposition against the measure, citing violation of First Amendment rights.
She also wrote in an open letter:
“If your kid still manages to watch porn, here’s an idea: Take away their phone. Why does any child need a cellphone anyway? They certainly don’t need the state to parent them. Not to be an a*****e, but parents need to parent.”
Meanwhile, South Jordan family therapist Dr. Jacob Gibson shared that part of his job is to see patients who have been exposed to explicit material in their young age.
“One of the most difficult challenges I work with are the effects from pornography. Average age of first exposure, which is often accidental, is 10 to 11 years old. Anything we can do to help prevent that puts us in a proactive rather than a defensive position.”
The ruling will reportedly not come into effect until five other states in the country enact similar legislation.
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