Legislators in Florida passed a ban on social media for kids under 16

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A bill that would be one of the nation’s most restrictive bans on minors’ use of social media is heading to Florida Gov.
Ron DeSantisTALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A bill to create one of the nation’s most restrictive bans on minors’ use of social media is heading to Republican Florida Gov.
Ron DeSantis, who has expressed concerns about the legislation to keep children under the age of 16 off popular platforms regardless of parental approval.
The House passed the bill on a 108-7 vote Thursday just hours after the Senate approved it 23-14.
The Senate made changes to the original House bill, which Republican Speaker Paul Renner said he hopes will address DeSantis’ questions about privacy.
The bill targets any social media site that tracks user activity, allows children to upload material and interact with others, and uses addictive features designed to cause excessive or compulsive use.
Supporters point to rising suicide rates among children, cyberbullying and predators using social media to prey on kids.
In Arkansas, a federal judge blocked enforcement of a law in August that required parental consent for minors to create new social media accounts.
But opponents say it blatantly violates the First Amendment and that it should left to parents, not the government, to monitor children’s social media use.
It’s becoming intrusive.”The Florida bill would require social media companies to close any accounts it believes to be used by minors and to cancel accounts at the request of a minor or parents.

The governor of Florida is set to receive a bill that would impose one of the strictest prohibitions on minors using social media in the country. The Ron DeSantis.

The city of Tallahassee, Florida. Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, is set to sign a bill that would impose one of the strictest prohibitions on minors using social media. Ron DeSantis, who has voiced reservations about the law requiring minors under 16 to stay off popular platforms without parental consent.

Just hours after the Senate approved the bill 23–14, the House passed it on Thursday by a vote of 108–7. The Senate amended the House bill, which Republican Speaker Paul Renner stated he hoped would answer DeSantis’ privacy concerns.

The bill aims to target any social media platform that uses features that are addictive and intended to lead to compulsive or excessive use, tracks user activity, and lets kids upload content and communicate with others. Supporters cite the rise in juvenile suicide rates, cyberbullying, and the use of social media by predators to prey on children.

The bill’s Republican Senate sponsor, Erin Grall, stated, “We’re talking about businesses that are engaging in mass manipulation of our children to cause them harm.”.

Similar laws have been considered in other states, however most have not suggested a complete outright ban. A federal judge in Arkansas stopped the implementation of a law in August that required parental approval before a minor could open a new social media account.

By outlawing social media formats based on addictive features like autoplay videos and notification alerts rather than the content on their websites, supporters in Florida believe that the bill, should it pass into law, will be able to withstand legal challenges.

Opponents counter that parents, not the government, should be in charge of keeping an eye on their children’s social media use and that it flagrantly violates the First Amendment.

“The year 1850 is not here.”. “While parents attend school board meetings to demand book bans, their children are glued to their iPads, gazing at graphic content,” stated state senator for diversity. Jason Pizzo.

He remarked cynically that lawmakers had other choices if they wished to raise the children of others.

“Let’s pass a bill that promotes talking to your kids, making dinner, eating at the table together, maintaining eye contact, and occasionally calling grandma to check on her. He uttered those words.

Both Republicans and Democrats supported the legislation in different proportions.

While acknowledging that the platforms might be dangerous for teenagers, DeSantis emphasized that parents must supervise their children’s usage.

At a press conference in the Orlando area prior to the bill’s passage, DeSantis stated, “We can’t say that 100 percent of the uses are bad because they’re not.”. “I hope we can get there in a way that addresses parents’ concerns, even though I don’t think it’s there yet. “.

However, because it addresses his concerns about user anonymity, Renner, who made this his top legislative priority, believes the governor will approve the final product.

Mixed emotions are also felt by some parents.

Central Florida mother Angela Perry said she understands the reasoning behind the bill and that she and her husband delayed allowing their daughter to appear on any significant platforms until she was fifteen. However, she feels that each parent should have the freedom to decide based on their child’s level of maturity.

Perry asked, “Whatever happened to parental rights?”. “My child’s school books are already being chosen by you. That’s acceptable in certain circumstances. However, you are now also getting involved in their personal affairs. It is starting to obtrude. “.

The Florida bill would force social media companies to terminate accounts at the request of a minor or their parents, as well as to close any accounts they suspect are being used by minors. It is necessary to remove all account-related data.

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