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Florida Governor Signs Bill Prohibiting Social Media Access For Kids Under 14



Florida Governor Signs Bill Prohibiting Social Media Access For Kids Under 14

Florida State Governor, Ron DeSantis, has signed a bill into law that restricts children under the age of 14 from accessing social media platforms in the state, News About Nigeria reports.

The bill, known as HB3, also mandates that children aged 14 or 15 obtain parental consent before creating social media accounts.

Furthermore, social media companies are required to delete existing accounts of children under 14.

Failure to comply with these regulations could result in legal action against the companies, with potential damages of up to $10,000 per violation.

During the bill-signing ceremony, Governor DeSantis stressed the importance of assisting parents in navigating the complexities of raising children in the digital age.

He had previously vetoed a more stringent version of the bill that proposed banning social media accounts for kids under 16, as well as requiring Florida residents to provide identification to join social media platforms.

Concerns about the potential negative impact of social media on children’s mental health and exposure to online predators have prompted lawmakers to take action.

Similar initiatives, such as the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), have been proposed at the federal level.

Supporters of the new law, including Florida House Speaker Paul Renner, argue that excessive social media use can have detrimental effects on children’s well-being and may facilitate communication with predators.

However, the law is expected to face legal challenges, with critics, including NetChoice LLC, expressing concerns about its constitutionality.

NetChoice, representing social media platforms like Meta and Google, views the law as an infringement on First Amendment rights.

Governor DeSantis and Speaker Renner have acknowledged the likelihood of legal battles but remain steadfast in their commitment to protecting children from the potential harms of social media.

Renner said the bill focused on addressing the addictive features of social media platforms rather than regulating content.