DeSantis Signs New Law Limiting Children’s Access to Social Media

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[Photo Credit: By Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America - Ron DeSantis, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=139870326]

On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new piece of legislation that focuses on removing minors from social media platforms. This move marks a significant achievement for Florida Republicans, although it is anticipated to encounter legal opposition from the tech industry.

According to recent legislation, several platforms are now required to restrict account access for children under the age of 14. State leaders argue that the use of social media can have negative effects on development and mental well-being.

Florida has joined the ranks of states such as Arkansas and Utah in their efforts to regulate social media use, including adult websites.

This move has sparked controversy among tech companies and free speech advocates.

Florida’s FL HB3 (24R) legislation is the result of a compromise between Governor DeSantis and state lawmakers, spearheaded by House Speaker Paul Renner.

Initially, the proposed social media restrictions were the strictest in the nation.

The bill, which was previously vetoed by DeSantis, aimed to restrict access to various social media platforms for individuals under the age of 16.

The law signed by DeSantis on Monday grants parents the authority to give consent to 14- and 15-year-olds for using certain applications.

The legislation contains a provision that would eliminate the parental consent option if the courts find that the platforms pose a risk to minors.

Lawmakers have decided to leave it up to social media platforms to determine how they will meet the requirements of verifying the age of users, as they removed a provision that explicitly detailed the process.

This decision puts the responsibility in the hands of the companies themselves.

The law was designed to limit access to social media platforms that utilize features deemed “addictive,” such as infinite scrolling, algorithms, and push notifications.

Florida has implemented a new law that aims to address the issue of children accessing inappropriate content on social media.

This law requires websites that publish materials deemed “harmful to minors” to take measures to verify the age of their users, in order to prevent anyone under the age of 18 from accessing such content.

It is anticipated that this policy will face opposition, particularly from the pornography industry and from many quarters of the left.

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