Children under 14 in Florida banned from using social media

Recently, Florida passed new legislation known as HB 3 to regulate the use of social media among young people. The law prohibits children under 14 from having social media accounts and requires parental consent for users between 14 and 16. This decision was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, making it one of the most restrictive initiatives in the US concerning social media use by minors. The move reflects a growing concern about the impact of these platforms on the mental health of adolescents. However, HB 3 has faced criticism from various quarters who argue that it infringes on the privacy of all Floridians, both young people and adults.

The law will not be enforced until January next year and also includes age verification for accessing pornographic sites, showing a broader concern for the protection of minors online. While some see this as an important step towards safeguarding young people from harmful online content, others worry that it could jeopardize their privacy and security. NetChoice, a lobby group backed by multiple technology companies, has raised concerns about the need to verify the identity of online users to enforce the law, stating that this could violate citizens’ constitutional rights.

As discussions surrounding online safety continue, it is essential to consider various perspectives on how to balance protecting minors from harmful online content while ensuring individual rights and privacy. The introduction of HB 3 in Florida highlights ongoing challenges in finding such a balance. Implementation of this law sets a precedent for states addressing these issues in the digital age, emphasizing the need for thoughtful and comprehensive approaches to online safety for all users, particularly young people.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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