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Florida passes restrictive law to ban children from using social media

governor of florida Ron DeSantis signed a bill that would effectively ban social media use by young children.

The restrictions on minors come in response to growing concerns about the negative impact of various apps on young Americans.

Under new legislation set to be introduced on January 1, 2025, Florida will ban children 13 and younger from accessing social media, while 14- and 15-year-olds will need parental consent to go online.

Speaking on Monday (March 25), Governor DeSantis explained that his administration was simply “trying to help parents cope with this very difficult situation they are facing raising their children.”

Republican Speaker Paul Renner, who has made the issue a legislative priority, was pleased with the results, saying: “Children with developing brains do not have the capacity to know that they are being hooked on these addictive technologies. There’s also no ability to see the impact of these technologies’ harm and stay away from it, so we have to step in for them,”

The bill comes as another social media war is making many headlines, with the United States looking to ban Chinese-owned TikTok after federal lawmakers approved it.

There is a strong push to boycott efforts to curb the crackdown on TikTok, and Florida is about to challenge it with a similar move.

Anticipated challenges for social media legislation

Democratic Representative Anna Eskamani argued that the new law “goes too far in taking away parental rights,” adding, “Instead of banning social media access, we should ensure improved parental oversight tools and improved data access to deter bad actors—while making significant investments in Florida’s mental health systems and programs.”

Others claim to restrict freedoms and prevent Americans from accessing information online.

Khara Boender, state policy director for the Computer & Communications Industry Association, said in a press release that she understands some of the fundamentals of cybersecurity but is skeptical about whether the legislation can be effective “without violating the First Amendment.” The case for meaningfully achieving these goals “raises doubts about the rights of young users” and is expected to face strong legal challenges.

Image Source: photographer Ashley Satanoski exist Not splashed

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