Florida Bans Under-14s from Social Media

Taiwo Ajayi
2 Min Read

In a decisive move to address growing concerns over child safety online, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill that prohibits children under the age of 14 from joining social media platforms.

The bill, known as HB3, also mandates that individuals aged 14 or 15 must obtain parental consent before creating a social media account.

Under the new legislation, social media companies are required to delete existing accounts belonging to users under 14 years old. Failure to comply with this directive could result in legal action, with potential damages of up to $10,000 per account.

Moreover, companies found to be in violation of the law could face penalties of up to $50,000 per offense, in addition to covering attorney fees and court costs.

Governor DeSantis emphasized the importance of supporting parents in navigating the complex landscape of raising children in the digital age. The law, scheduled to take effect in January 2025, reflects Florida’s commitment to safeguarding the well-being of its youth amidst increasing concerns about the impact of social media on mental health and exposure to online predators.

While the move has garnered support from advocates for child safety, it is expected to face legal challenges, particularly regarding potential violations of the First Amendment. Nevertheless, Governor DeSantis remains confident in the constitutionality of the legislation, asserting that it represents a fair application of the law and the state’s commitment to protecting its youngest residents.

As Florida takes a proactive stance in addressing the risks associated with underage social media use, the nation watches closely, anticipating potential ripple effects and further developments in the ongoing debate surrounding online safety for children.

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