Governor of the United States signs law banning social networks for children under 14

Florida Governor Signs Bill Restricting Social Media Use by Minors to Protect Mental Health and Safety

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Monday that aims to restrict the use of social networks for minors. Children under the age of 14 will be prohibited from having social media accounts, while teenagers between 14 and 15 will need parental authorization. The proposal comes at a time when the US is questioning the impact of internet giants on youth, with DeSantis aiming to help parents navigate the challenges of raising children in the digital age.

The new law requires technology companies to delete accounts of children under 14 on social media apps and establish age verification mechanisms on websites with adult content. While most platforms require users to be at least 13 years old to create an account, little is done to enforce this rule. The measure, which is set to take effect on January 1, 2025, is the top legislative priority of state assembly leader Paul Renner.

Renner emphasized the need for the law by stating that social media platforms are where most crimes against children occur and that they have a detrimental effect on the mental well-being of young people. This law is a watered-down version of a previous measure that focused on children under 16, which was vetoed by DeSantis before an agreement was reached on the wording.

Despite support from Florida lawmakers, challenges are expected from social media companies and the law may face legal battles due to concerns related to freedom of expression. Supporters believe that the ban on certain features of social media platforms, such as automatic notifications and addictive features, will benefit children’s mental health. Several other states are considering similar measures to regulate social media use by minors.

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