Social Media1

Starting next year, children under 14 years old will not be allowed to create social media accounts in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law that requires social media companies to remove the accounts of under-14s. Additionally, children aged 14 and 15 will need parental consent before they can create accounts on platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat.

Companies who fail to delete accounts risk being sued on behalf of children – with the minor awarded up to $10,000 (£7,908) – and could also be fined up to $50,000 (£39,538) per violation of the law. It’s set to come into effect in Florida from January next year, but challenges by firms claiming it violates the US Constitution are expected.

The state’s Republican speaker Paul Renner called the bill his top priority and said that “a child in their brain development doesn’t have the ability to know that they’re being sucked into these addictive technologies”. The bill also defines material harmful to children as including content “lacking serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors”, in addition to “patently offensive” depictions of sexual conduct and indecency.

Firms that fail to prohibit access to such material, or prohibit future access to a minor after it is reported, are “liable to the minor for such access, including court costs and reasonable attorney fees”.

‘We’re going to beat them’

Mr Renner admitted he knows social media firms will “sue the second this is signed”, but said: “We’re going to beat them. We’re going to beat them and we’re never, ever going to stop.” Mr DeSantis, who recently suspended his campaign to be the Republican nominee for president, also backed the bill and said “we not only satisfied me, but we also satisfied, I think, a fair application of the law and constitution”.

NetChoice, a trade group linked with Meta, TikTok and X, has claimed that the Florida policy creates “ID for the internet” and puts restrictions on all Floridians regardless of age. “We’re disappointed to see Gov. DeSantis sign onto this route,” Carl Szabo, NetChoice vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.

“There are better ways to keep Floridians, their families and their data safe and secure online without violating their freedoms.”


Benjamin Mensah

By Benjamin Mensah

Benjamin Mensah [Freshhope] is a young man, very passionate about the youth of this Generation. Very friendly, reliable and very passionate about the things of God and all that I do. The mission is to inform, educate and entertain. Feel free to send your whatsapp messages to +233266550849 and call on +233242645676

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