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LATEST NEWS

  • Philip Osadebay - Tech Journalist

Florida State wants to ban social media for teens under 16


A world where individuals under 16 are barred from the use of TikTok and Instagram, sparks both applause and outcry.



Florida's Legislature recently approved a social media bill to prohibit individuals under 16 from having accounts on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, potentially impacting millions of young Floridians. Although Governor Ron DeSantis hasn't signed the bill yet, it's expected to face legal challenges due to concerns about infringing on free speech rights and access to information.


Under the proposed rules, social networks would be required to prevent underage sign-ups and terminate accounts belonging to minors. This would apply to popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube. Unlike previous laws in states like Utah and Ohio, Florida's legislation would enact a comprehensive ban on youth accessing certain social media apps, also mandating platforms to restrict harmful content from minors.


While some support the bill as a means to protect children from the negative effects of social media, others argue it could limit access to crucial information and communities, altering how young people communicate and engage online.


Although federal regulations like the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act already prohibit users under 13 from certain platforms, state regulators argue that underage individuals often circumvent these rules by providing false information. Proponents of the Florida bill argue that verifying users' ages before granting access would address this issue.


While conservative groups applaud the bill for protecting children, civil liberties advocates warn of potential consequences, such as hindering teenagers' access to information and stifling their participation in various online activities, including political engagement and educational content consumption.


In essence, the Florida social media bill reflects ongoing debates about how to balance protecting young people online while preserving their access to information and expression.

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