DeSantis Signs Bill Banning Kids 14 Years or Younger from Using Social Media

Monday marked a significant day for the protection of young minds in Florida, as Governor Ron DeSantis bestowed his signature on an influential piece of legislation aimed at restricting underage children’s access to social media. This law is particularly concerned with preventing children under the age of 14 from participating online without careful supervision. The enforcement of this act is set to commence on the first day of January, 2025.

The primary objective of this legislation is to entrust social media platforms with the responsibility of preventing underage users from independently creating new accounts, essentially mandating parental consent for each new signup. Furthermore, incumbent social media accounts owned by children falling under the assigned age limit are also destined for elimination once the act is enforced, as per the explicit provisions given in the legislative text.

This consequential piece of legislation began its journey to enactment at the start of the year, brought forth by Republican lawmakers in Florida. In particularly resonant words, Governor DeSantis emphasized that the bill’s fundamental goal was to empower parents in safeguarding their tender-aged children from potential risks associated with widespread digital culture, specifically on social media.

In addition, the law will mandate the scrupulous social media firms, albeit unnamed in the stipulations of the legislation, to expunge all personally identifying information associated with underage account-holders. Therefore, the new measure not only ensures stricter online privacy for minors but also institutes a stronger regulation over data management concerning children on these platforms.

An intriguing facet of this legislative journey arose on March 1 when a similar bill faced the governor’s veto. This proposed law had also sought to restrict social media access for minors, albeit those under the age of 16, rather than 14. However, the governor expressed his support for the overall intention behind the proposal despite the veto, citing the existence of a subsequent, superior legislation under collaborative development.

The debate around the appropriate age for social media access and the relevant parental control mechanisms is substantial, absorbing the attention of advocacy groups and legislators alike. A particular focus lies on potential exposure of these young minds to inappropriate or harmful content, such as pornography, which can often be accessed with frightening ease on certain internet portals.

Expressions of concern and efforts to combat these risks are not confined to Florida or the Republican party. The wider concern half a nation away, Utah and Virginia have already taken prominent steps in the right direction by successfully integrating age verification mandates for minors using social media into their respective state laws.

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DeSantis Signs Bill Banning Kids 14 Years or Younger from Using Social Media appeared first on Real News Now.

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