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Florida passes ban on social media for minors under 13 years of age

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Florida bans social media for minors (Photo: Shutterstock)
  • Florida bans social media for minors.
  • The law is expected to be disputed.
  • When will it go into effect?

On Monday, March 25, Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a controversial law.

HB 3 would make Florida one of the states with the most restrictive laws in the United States regarding minors’ access to social media.

The law will prohibit children under 13 from opening social media accounts, a measure that is expected to be disputed in court.

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Florida bans social media for minors

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PHOTO: Shutterstock – MundoNOW Archive

HB-3, approved with broad bipartisan support earlier this month, blocks access to social media platforms for minors under 13 years of age.

In addition, it establishes that adolescents between 14 and 15 years old will only be able to access it with the authorization of parents or legal guardians.

According to The Washington Post, NetChoice, a tech industry group, has said that the law is “unconstitutional” and in practice will not protect any Floridians.

This highlights the potential controversy and legal challenges that the law’s implementation could face in the near future.

DeSantis says social media is harmful for children

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PHOTO: Shutterstock – MundoNOW Archive

In a press conference Governor DeSantis highlighted how social media can harm children in multiple ways.

«Social media harms children in various ways,» the governor said in a press conference.

He pointed out that minors can be manipulated by sexual predators through social media.

This highlights the government’s concern about the potential dangers young people face online.

Is the internet a dangerous place?

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Photo: The Associated Press

Paul Renner, Republican leader in Florida’s House of Representatives, stated that the internet is a «dark alley» for children.

He argued that social media increases depression and the risk of self-harm and suicide, while predators lurk online.

This statement underscores the deep concern for the safety and well-being of minors while browsing online.

Renner emphasizes the critical importance of Florida’s HB 3 law as an essential safeguard to protect youth online.

When will HB 3 go into effect?

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PHOTO: The Associated Press

DeSantis, after vetoing a stricter version of the bill, signed the HB 3 into law, restricting access to minors under 13 years of age and requiring authorization for adolescents.

This measure faces legal challenges, similar to other state laws, due to lawsuits from large social media companies such as Meta and TikTok.

Many of these laws have not yet taken effect due to litigation brought by coalitions of technology companies.

HB 3 is set to take effect in 2025, anticipating a difficult and protracted legal battle in its implementation.

Florida lawmakers say they will defend the law

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PHOTO: Shutterstock – MundoNOW Archive

At the press conference, Renner, who prioritized this project in the last session, anticipated that legal disputes await.

“You better understand that I am going to fight with all my might to defend this in court,” warned Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

Her statements reflect state leaders’ determination to defend HB 3 in the event of legal challenges.

This proactive approach suggests they are prepared for a protracted and difficult legal battle in implementing the law.

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