Florida Law Bans Social Media for Children Under 14, Meaning They Need Delete Their Profiles. - CLTC Higher Education

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Florida Law Bans Social Media for Children Under 14

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) made a decisive move on Monday, signing into law one of the nation’s toughest measures aimed at curbing minors’ access to social media platforms. This bold step, set to take effect on January 1 of the upcoming year, mandates stringent regulations to safeguard the well-being of young users in the digital realm.

Under the new legislation, children under the age of 14 are barred from holding social media accounts, while 15- and 16-year-olds must obtain parental consent to create accounts. Additionally, social media platforms are obligated to promptly terminate accounts found in violation of these provisions.

Speaking at the signing ceremony held in Jacksonville, Governor DeSantis shed light on the urgent need for protective measures, citing the pervasive threat posed by online predators. He lamented how social media platforms have become breeding grounds for predatory behavior, infiltrating the sanctity of homes and exploiting unsuspecting minors. “You could be doing everything right, but they know how to get and manipulate these different platforms,” DeSantis remarked, emphasizing the need for decisive action.

The legislative initiative, championed by Florida Republican Speaker Paul Renner, underscores the imperative of shielding children from the perils of unrestricted social media use. Renner highlighted the developmental vulnerabilities of young minds, underscoring the necessity for intervention to mitigate potential harm. The Governor also highlights how this can help children’s education and focus on school.

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Citing a comprehensive review of studies conducted in 2022, concerns over the adverse effects of prolonged social media exposure on minors have been substantiated. Studies reveal heightened risks of cyberbullying, online grooming, and exposure to inappropriate content, underscoring the urgency for regulatory intervention.

However, detractors have raised objections, expressing apprehensions over the law’s constitutionality and the prospect of protracted legal battles. Democratic state Representative Anna Eskamani voiced skepticism, cautioning against allocating public funds towards defending laws deemed inherently unconstitutional.

In response, civil liberties and advocacy groups have mobilized, advocating for a more nuanced approach to addressing the challenges posed by social media. Highlighting the potential stifling of constitutionally protected speech, these groups underscore the need for comprehensive solutions that prioritize child safety without impeding educational engagement and personal growth opportunities.

Despite mounting opposition, concerns over the impact of social media on children persist at the federal level. Recent congressional hearings have underscored the gravity of the issue, with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg issuing apologies to parents grappling with the tragic consequences of social media-related incidents. “I’m sorry for everything you’ve all gone through,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s terrible. No one should have to go through the things that your families have suffered.”

As Florida forges ahead with its landmark legislation, the stage is set for a contentious legal battle, with child safety and constitutional rights poised on opposite ends of the spectrum.

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  • Last Updated On 26th March 2024

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