Home Life Florida to ban children under 14 from having social media accounts

Florida to ban children under 14 from having social media accounts

Florida to ban children under 14 from having social media accounts

The aim of the new legislation is to improve child safety online.

The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis has signed a new bill into law that will impose strict regulations on the social media use of minors.

This particular law has been named HB3, and is set to come into effect from January 2025.

According to NBC News, the ambition of the new rule is to bolster the safeguarding of children online, specifically with regard to their social media usage.

The standout condition of the legislation is a directive issued to all social media companies instructing them to delete the accounts of anyone aged under 14.

When the law comes into effect, anyone under the age of 14 years old will be prohibited from creating an account on any social media platform.

Companies that fail to carry out the measures could end up being sued on behalf of any child who manages to set up an account on their site.

The minor could be awarded up to $10,000 in damages, and companies could face fines of around $50,000 per violation, not including any attorney fee’s and court costs.

An added stipulation is that teenagers between the ages of 14 and 16 will only be able to set up an account if they are able to prove that they have their parent’s consent.

Efforts to regulate social media usage amongst minors have ramped up in recent month’s across the US.

In January, lawmakers of the Senate Judiciary Committee put CEO’s from TikTok, Meta and X under the cosh over perceived shortcomings relating to child safety on their platform’s.

Members of the committee were speaking on behalf of many concerned parents nationwide who struggle to monitor their children’s activity online.

Overuse of social media and exposure to dangerous content can have a severe impact on the mental health of minors, and having their accounts public opens them up to the potential of exploitation from predators.

Governor DeSantis has become the first statesman in the US to sign a bill enforcing such strict measures on children’s access to social media platforms.

This issue is one that the 45 year old Republican Party member has held at the forefront of his campaign for some time.

Earlier this month, DeSantis vetoed a more restrictive bill that proposed to ban access to social media for all kids under 16.

That bill also required Florida residents to submit an ID or other identifying materials in order to join social media.

Speaking at the time, he said: “I have vetoed HB1 because the Legislature is about to produce a different, superior bill. Protecting children from harms associated with social media is important, as is supporting parents’ rights and maintaining the ability of adults to engage in anonymous speech.

“I anticipate the new bill will recognize these priorities and will be signed into law soon.”

During the bill-signing ceremony for HB3 on Monday, DeSantis remarked: “Ultimately, [we’re] trying to help parents navigate this very difficult terrain that we have now with raising kids, and so I appreciate the work that’s been put in.”

He added that he believed the bill to be “a fair application of the law and Constitution.”

Florida’s law is expected to face legal challenges in the coming months over claims that it violates the First Amendment.

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