Florida bans social media apps for kids; Teens require permission for access, maximum age limit.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill into law that enforces a social media app ban for children under 14, while those aged 14 to 16 must have parental consent to use these apps. This law, known as HB 3, aims to protect children from the potential dangers of social media and require greater parental involvement in their online activities. However, opponents argue that this legislation could compromise user privacy and lead to other unintended consequences.

The bill also includes a requirement for age verification for individuals visiting pornographic websites, as part of a larger effort to regulate online activity among minors. The legislation reflects a broader concern about the impact of social media on the mental health of teenagers, with NYU professor Jonathan Haidt outlining the negative effects of excessive screen time and virtual interaction in his new book. While some support the law as a necessary safeguard for children, others criticize it as an infringement on privacy rights for all Floridians, regardless of age.

As technology continues to play a significant role in the lives of young people, the debate over the regulation of social media and online activities is likely to intensify. The concerns raised by both supporters and detractors of the HB 3 law highlight the complex issues surrounding digital privacy, children’s rights, and the potential risks associated with unchecked access to social media platforms. It remains to be seen how this new legislation will impact the online landscape in Florida and beyond.

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