Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill that bans children under 14 from having social media accounts

By 37ci3 Mar25,2024

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law on Monday a bill banning children under the age of 14 from using social media in the state. 14 or 15 year olds need parental consent before joining the platform.

The bill, HB3, also directs social media companies to delete existing accounts of those under the age of 14. Companies that fail to do so can be sued on behalf of a child creating an account on the platform. According to the bill, the minor could be awarded up to $10,000 in damages. Companies found in violation will be liable for up to $50,000 per violation, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs.

“Finally, [we’re] I try to help parents navigate this very difficult terrain of raising children, and so I appreciate the work that goes into it,” deSantis said. said in his speech during the bill signing ceremony.

DeSantis earlier vetoed A more restrictive version of the bill bans social media accounts for children under 16. That bill also required Florida residents to provide identification or other identifying materials to connect to social media.

It comes as HB3, which is scheduled to take effect in January 2025 efforts to regulate social media continue to grow Amid concerns from some parents across the US that the platforms are not doing enough to keep their children safe online.

in December, More than 200 organizations sent letters Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is urging the D.N.Y. to schedule a vote on the Children’s Online Safety Act, or KOSA, which seeks to create liability, or a “duty of care,” for apps and online platforms that recommend content to minors. can have a negative impact on their mental health.

in January, MPs grilled CEOs About online child safety from TikTok, X and Meta. Tech leaders reaffirmed their commitment to child safety and pointed to the various tools they offer as examples of how they are being proactive in preventing online exploitation.

Florida House Speaker Paul Renner and other advocates of the new law argue that social media use can harm children’s mental health and allow sexual predators to communicate with minors.

“None of us can afford to be left out when it comes to social media,” Renner said during the bill signing.

Several states have passed similar laws to restrict teen social media, including Ohio and Arkansas – was challenged by NetChoice LLCa coalition of social media platforms whose members include Meta, Google and X, among others.

The Florida law is expected to face legal challenges over claims it violates the First Amendment.

Carl Szabo, NetChoice’s vice president and general counsel, called the law “unconstitutional” and said, “We are disappointed to see Gov. DeSantis sign off on this route.” “There are better ways to keep Floridians, their families and their data online and safe without compromising their freedom.”

Both DeSantis and Renner hinted at potential legal hurdles ahead in their remarks.

“You won’t find a line in this bill that addresses good speech or bad speech, because that would violate the First Amendment,” Renner said. “We haven’t addressed that at all. What we’re addressing is the addictive nature of what keeps kids on these platforms for hours and hours.”

“We will beat them and we will never stop,” he said, specifically calling out NetChoice.

DeSantis argued that the bill was constitutional.

“If I see any bill that I think is unconstitutional, I veto it,” he said. He assessed the draft law as a “fair application of the law and the Constitution”.

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By 37ci3

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