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

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill into law that restricts the use of social media for minors. The initiative, which aims to protect children from the negative effects of social media, bans children under 14 from having social media accounts and requires parental authorization for adolescents between 14 and 15. This measure is set to take effect on January 1, 2025.

The new law also mandates technology companies to delete accounts of children under 14 on social media apps and establish age verification mechanisms on websites with adult content. Despite most platforms requiring users to be at least 13 years old to create an account, little is done to enforce this rule. The measure, the top legislative priority of state assembly leader Paul Renner, was passed with the support of Florida lawmakers.

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. However, 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, like 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.

By Samantha Johnson

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