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Florida blocks young people's access to social networks

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar26,2024

Florida blocks l’ access of the youngest to social networks

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Most social networks are already prohibited for those under 13 years.


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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law on Monday aimed at restricting the access of those under 16 to social networks, as the ;effect of platforms on worried young people in the United States.

The law, which comes into force next January in this southeastern US state, stipulates that those under 14 will not be able to open an account on a social network. Teenagers aged 14 and 15 will need parental consent to register on these platforms.

We are trying to help parents navigate very difficult terrain.

A quote from Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida

The Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and main instigator of the project, Paul Renner, welcomed the adoption of the law.

We know […] that more crimes are committed against children on social media than anywhere else, he said. We also know that social networks have a devastating effect on the mental health of our children.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Most Platforms set a minimum age of 13 to open an account, but this rule is easy to circumvent.

Companies that fail to remove accounts belonging to people aged 14 or 15 within a reasonable period of time may face legal action and a fine of up to US$10,000 (CA$13,600) in damages per violation.

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In this bill, all websites that substantially contain material harmful to minors – such as pornography – will also have to verify the age of Internet users anonymously, meaning they cannot retain identification data once the task is completed.

Violating sites face fines of up to US$50,000 ($67,900 CAD) per account.

Critics of the law say it is up to parents, not authorities, to monitor their children's social media use. Others worry about a possible violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution which guarantees freedom of expression.

Paul Renner brushed aside these arguments, saying the platforms create a harmful addiction. The permanent consultation, the likes and the hearts which give a little hit of dopamine […] and encourage you to stay online longer and longer.

Ron DeSantis had rejected another bill banning the use of networks by those under 16, believing that the text did not sufficiently take into account the will parents.

The governor, who was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the next presidential election, without success, has repeated many times that parents should have more control over decisions regarding their children, particularly regarding education.

In Florida as in other countries In other states, lawmakers have sought to give parents more influence in areas considered controversial such as classes on topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity. /p>

With information from Agence France-Presse

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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