Children Under 14 Banned from Using Social Media

Signed by Gov Ron DeSantis, the HB3 bill mandates that social media companies remove the accounts of 14 year olds for legal implications.

Signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, the HB3 bill mandates that social media companies remove the accounts of minors under the age of fourteen for legal implications and impose fines of up to $50,000 for infractions. 

As of next year, children under 14 will not be allowed to have social media accounts in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis signed the legislation to instruct social media firms to delete user accounts that are under 14 years old. In case a child who is 14 or 15 years old wants to sign up on any social media platform like Instagram or Snapchat, he or she must obtain parental consent. 

In cases where a company fails to abide by the legal implications, which involve deleting social media accounts of children, they would increase their risk of being sued on behalf of these children. The child would be awarded up to $10,000 (£7,908), and the company would be fined an amount of $50,000 (£39,538) per violation of the law. 

The law would be in effect starting from January next year in Florida. The only challenges that would have to be faced are those posed by various social media firms claiming the law violates the US constitution. The bill touches on material harmful to children, including content “lacking serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors,” as well as “patently offensive” depictions of sexual conduct and indecency. 

Firms that fail to act and prohibit access to the listed materials for minors would be reported “liable to the minor for such access, including court costs and reasonable attorney fees.” 

Mr. Renner had clearly stated that he is fully aware that social media platforms will “sue the second this is signed” but continued to state: “We’re going to beat them. We’re going to beat them and we’re never, ever going to stop.” 

Mr. DeSantis, who is has backed down his campaign under the Republican nominee for president, has agreed on the bill and stated that “we not only satisfied me, but we also satisfied, I think, a fair application of the law and constitution.” 

A trade group called NetChoice, affiliated with Meta, TikTok, and X, has stated that Florida has created the policy of “ID for the internet” and has imposed restrictions on all citizens in Florida, regardless of their age due to legal implications.

“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.” 

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