Social media

Governor Ron DeSantis has taken decisive action by signing into law a bill to curb children’s access to social media. The legislation, enacted on Monday, introduces strict measures that restrict children under 14 from accessing social media platforms altogether. For those aged 14 and 15, parental consent will be required to create accounts, highlighting a proactive approach to shielding minors from potential online threats to their mental health.

The bill mandates social media platforms to terminate accounts of users under 14 and those aged 16 without parental approval. Furthermore, platforms must implement a third-party verification system to verify users’ ages, ensuring compliance with the new regulations.

Originally proposed in February, the bill underwent revisions after Governor DeSantis vetoed an earlier version, emphasizing the importance of parental rights. The revised bill, set to become law on January 1, 2025, now allows parents to grant consent for older teenagers to engage with social media platforms.

Encroaches on Rights to Free Speech

Critics argue that the legislation infringes upon First Amendment rights to free speech, contending that decisions regarding children’s online presence should rest with parents rather than the government.

Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, voiced opposition to the bill, citing concerns over parental discretion and data privacy. Instead, Meta advocated for federal legislation to secure parental approval for children’s online activities.

While the bill does not explicitly target specific social media platforms, it identifies features common to platforms that pose potential risks to minors. Additionally, the legislation mandates social media companies to delete personal information from terminated accounts and allows parents to pursue civil lawsuits against non-compliant platforms.

This move of Gov. Ron Desantis underscores his growing recognition of the need to address the unique challenges posed by social media in protecting the well-being of minors nationwide.

Cover Photo: Depositphotos

Read More News

Woke Boston “racial” justice leaders demanding $15 billion from White churches 

The post Social media access for children restricted under DeSantis bill appeared first on The Independent News.