Florida bans TikTok and Instagram for children under 14 – 03/27/2024 – Tech

Florida bans TikTok and Instagram for children under 14 – 03/27/2024 – Tech


The US state of Florida on Monday became the first state to effectively ban citizens under the age of 14 from having accounts on services like TikTok and Instagram, enacting a strict social media bill that will likely revolutionize social media. lives of many young people.

The law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis is one of the most restrictive measures an American state has enacted amid a growing national effort to protect young people from potential mental health and safety risks on social media platforms.

The statute prohibits certain social networks from granting accounts to children under the age of 14 and requires the services to terminate accounts that the platform knew or believed belonged to underage users.

It also requires platforms to obtain parental permission before granting accounts to 14- and 15-year-olds.

At a news conference Monday, DeSantis praised the measure, saying it will help parents navigate “difficult terrain” online. He added that “being buried” in devices all day is not the best way to grow.

“Social media harms children in many ways,” DeSantis said in a statement. The new bill “gives parents greater ability to protect their children.”

DeSantis had vetoed a previous bill that would have banned social media accounts for 14- and 15-year-olds, even with parental consent. The governor said the previous bill would infringe on parents’ right to make decisions about their children’s online activities.

Florida’s new measure will almost certainly face constitutional challenges over the rights of young people to freely seek information and the rights of companies to distribute information.

Federal judges in several other states have recently suspended less restrictive online safety laws on free speech grounds in response to lawsuits filed by NetChoice, a technology industry trade group that represents companies including Meta, Snap and TikTok.

Judges in Ohio and Arkansas, for example, have blocked laws in those states that would require certain social networks to verify users’ ages and obtain parental permission before granting accounts to children under 16 or 18.

A federal judge in California has suspended a law in that state that would have required certain social networking and video game apps to turn on the highest privacy settings by default for minors and turn off certain features, such as auto-playing videos, by default for such users.

In addition to age restrictions for social media, Florida’s new statute requires online pornography services to use age verification systems to keep minors off their platforms.

Apps like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram have policies that prohibit children under the age of 13. This is because the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act requires certain online services to obtain parental permission before collecting personal information — including full names, contact information, locations or selfie photos — from children under 13.

But state regulators say millions of underage children were able to sign up for social media accounts simply by providing false birth dates.


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