Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Florida Approves Law Banning Social Media for Children under 14

Thu 28 Mar 2024 | 11:47 AM
Israa Farhan

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law on Monday a measure aimed at limiting minors under the age of 16 from accessing social media networks, citing growing concerns about the platforms' influence on youth across the United States.

The law, set to take effect in January next year in the southeastern state, prohibits individuals under 14 years old from creating social media accounts. Teenagers aged 14 to 15 will require parental consent to register on these platforms.

During the signing ceremony, Governor DeSantis emphasized the law's aim to assist parents in navigating a complex issue.

Florida House Speaker Paul Renner, a key supporter of the legislation, applauded its enactment, highlighting the significant number of crimes against children occurring on social media platforms. Renner stressed the detrimental impact of social media on children's mental well-being.

While many social media platforms set the minimum age for account creation at 13, critics argue that enforcement is often lax, allowing younger users to circumvent these rules.

Opponents of the law contend that monitoring children's social media use should be the responsibility of parents rather than government intervention.

However, proponents argue that social media addiction among minors necessitates regulatory action.

Governor DeSantis previously rejected a similar bill that banned social media use for those under 16, citing concerns about insufficient consideration of parental preferences.

The governor, who recently ran for the Republican Party's presidential nomination, has consistently emphasized the importance of parental control over decisions concerning their children, particularly in educational matters. 

In Florida and other states, lawmakers have increasingly sought to empower parents in contentious areas, including curriculum topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity.