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Mar 27, 2024
(Updated on
Mar 27, 2024

Florida Bans Social Media for Teenagers Under 14

Florida has recently enacted a new law called House Bill 3 (HB 3), which brings about significant changes to how children under 14 can access social media. Starting January 1st of next year, children who are under 14 years old will not be allowed to have social media accounts at all. For children aged 14 to 15, they will need to get permission from their parents in order to create a social media account. Governor Ron DeSantis, who signed the bill into law, highlighted the importance of giving parents the ability to protect their children from the potential risks that come with using social media. This move is being made to address concerns about how unrestricted use of social media can negatively affect young people.

Photo by Luke Porter on Unsplash

The law aligns Florida's regulations with the age restrictions already in place on many social media platforms. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok already require users to be at least 13 years old in order to create accounts. HB 3, on the other hand, establishes a new legal age limit of 14, and it also includes penalties for social media platforms that fail to comply with this requirement. The legislation shows that the state is dedicated to supporting parents in controlling their children's online activities.

This new legislation, has a significant impact on advertisers. The bill enforces strict regulations on social media access for children under 14. Many social media users are in this age group, so advertisers who want to reach younger people may have some difficulties. With fewer young users on platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram, advertisers might see a decline in the number of impressions and engagements they can potentially get. In addition, social media platforms are now paying closer attention to age verification and enforcement. This could lead to stricter ad placement policies, which may affect advertisers' ability to customize their campaigns for specific age groups. Due to this, advertisers in Florida might have to reconsider their marketing strategies and find other ways to effectively reach younger audiences while following the new regulations.

Social media platforms now have a legal requirement to be more strict in enforcing age restrictions. Platforms are required to delete accounts of children under 14 and terminate accounts that are likely owned by users under that age. Even if users try to lie about their age, their accounts won't be protected. Platforms are required to use algorithms to find and delete accounts of users who are underage. This strict way of enforcing the law shows how seriously Florida is taking the problem of teens using social media.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

The law states that children aged 14 to 15 must have parental consent. If a person wants to create a social media account, they can only do so if their parent or guardian gives explicit permission to the platform. Moreover, parents have the right to withdraw their consent and ask for their child's social media accounts to be deleted. The legislation aims to create a system where parents have an important role in guiding how young people use social media platforms.

It's important to note that the legislation doesn't completely limit minors' access to all online communication tools. Platforms like email and direct messaging services, which are meant for private communication, can still be used by children even if their parents haven't approved them. The main focus of HB 3 is to regulate platforms where people can publicly post content. It aims to differentiate between platforms that facilitate private communication and those that allow public posting.

Contrary to what people have been speculating, the law does not involve cracking down on individual underage users. Instead, it focuses on holding social media platforms responsible for enforcing age restrictions. Failure to comply with regulations can result in significant fines and the possibility of legal action, as platforms may be subject to financial penalties for each instance of breaking the law. HB 3 goes beyond just regulating social media. It also includes age verification requirements for pornographic websites. This broader approach is in line with what other states are doing to address online safety concerns in a comprehensive way.

The passing of House Bill 3 in Florida is a major advancement in safeguarding children. The legislation aims to make social media safer for young people by setting age restrictions and giving parents more control over their children's online activities.

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