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Florida Declared A New Law Regarding The Social Media Usage of Children

The United States has declared that children under 14 will not be permitted to create new social media accounts after 1 January 2025 in the state of Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis signed the law on March 25. Therefore, children will have to delete the accounts that they already own on several applications such as Instagram, Facebook, X, Threads and more.

The law requires parental permission for children less 14 years old to sign up for personal social media accounts, and the supporters of this law claim that the measure intends to protect the possible harm children could receive online; including threats and privacy issues.

Critics have said that the law may violate the United States Constitution’s First Amendment protection of free speech. Other than this, the company Meta opposed the legislation.

Moreover, DeSantis also vetoed the version that suggests parental permission, saying that it is too restrictive for parents. However, the governor’s office came up with some ideas of change in the measures so that it can become one that DeSantis and people can actually support. The new law leaves the decision to parents on the usage of social media and their kids going online. It is said that the law is designed to give parents a better protection ability. The experts indicated that the measure would probably face legal hardships and problems at the court.

In Florida’s House of Representatives, Republican speaker Paul Renner was the one leading the new measure. At the signing ceremony at a school, he stated that “A child, whose brain is still developing, does not have the ability to know that they are being sucked into these addictive technologies. Because of that, we have to step in for them.”.

The law does not refer to any specific social media site, but it is indicated that the measurement targets social media that use tools to get users to stay online in front of their telephones or computers, exposing them to a considerable amount of blue light for long hours. Moreover, it does not cover the applications or sites with the primary idea or goal of providing emailing, messaging as well as texting services.

The law requires the companies to remove any kind of collected personal information from the users of the accounts that will be closed, showing that another main reason of the law is to protect minors from any personal information leak.

Some past attempts for this law included children under 16 not being able to use social media accounts due to their addictive features. As well as Florida, several different states have considered making a similar registration in order to protect minors from the damaging and threatening impacts of social media. Utah, Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio and Texas are some of the states that have developed new laws, rules and measures. Even if there are some differences between these rules, the main idea is the same. One of the differences are that Arkansas’ law will require parental consent for creating social media accounts instead of fully banning the use of social media under the age of 14. However, the law was blocked by a federal judge, saying that the rule was unconstitutional. Additionally, Florida has strongly restricted phones in schools, as the law asked all public schools in Florida to ban telephone use. Therefore, it can be said that Florida is really meticulous in protecting minors from the detrimental effects of social media, blue light, phone addiction, and personal information leaks.

To wrap up, it can be concluded that many states and countries, in this case Florida, are working hard in order to protect minors, mostly under the age of 14, from the possible dangers social media. Some say that this law was needed, while others oppose this measure. It is not known what will exactly happen in the future, but it is clear that taking some careful steps in protecting minors from bad impacts of social media and technology is important to make make the new generations safer and better.

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