Florida restricts social media to people under 16

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law on Monday (25) a bill that limits access to social media for children under 16 years of age. The rule will come into force on January 1, 2025.

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As a result, starting next year:

children under 14 are prohibited from accessing social media platforms;

and teenagers aged 14 and 15 can access it as long as they obtain parental consent, a measure that supporters say will protect them from online mental health risks.

Furthermore, the determination requires social media platforms to close the accounts of those under the age of 14 and teenagers under the age of 16 who do not have parental authorization. The order is for them to use a third-party verification system to filter out minors.

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The project does not mention any specific platform, but refers to those that allow content to be sent.

The Republican-controlled state legislature passed a bill in February 2024 that would entirely ban those under the age of 16 from accessing social media. DeSantis, also a Republican, had vetoed that bill, saying it limited parental rights.

The amended version allows parents to give consent for teenagers to use social media.

“Social media harms children in many ways,” DeSantis said in a statement. He said the legislation “will give parents greater ability to protect their children.”