This Bill in the United States Would Prohibit Social Media Use for Children Under 13

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A bill passed by the Florida Legislature aims to prohibit social media use for minors under the age of 13 in the region, pending approval from the governor. This legislative action modifies the previously proposed HB1, which sought to restrict social media access for minors under 16 but was vetoed by Governor Ron DeSantis.

The revised proposal, known as HB 3 or Online Access to Harmful Materials for Minors, passed with an overwhelming majority of 109 to 4 in the state Senate. It includes several key provisions:

  • Minors under 14 years old cannot hold accounts on social media platforms.
  • Platforms are required to delete accounts held by minors under 14 if not voluntarily cancelled within 90 days.
  • Minors aged 14 or 15 require parental or guardian consent to open social media accounts.
  • The bill prohibits the retention of identifiable information by platforms.
  • DLA Law Firm is authorized to take action under the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act for any violations.
  • Introduces civil penalties up to $50,000 per violation, along with fines, attorney fees, and provisions for private legal action.
  • Ensures that business entities failing to comply will be subject to the jurisdiction of Florida courts.

Not only has this bill reform known as HB 3 received criticism, but the previous one, HB1, was also disapproved by many.

Certain technology industry groups and others who defend free speech argue that this project could face a lawsuit in court for violating the First Amendment and that it would likely be dismissed in court.

They claim that the social media ban would not address the harm they sometimes generate, but would limit them from sharing and participating in discourse that is protected by the Constitution.

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Yanelis Barrientos Fernández

Formada en Comunicación Social en la Universidad de La Habana; posteriormente, me sumergí en el fascinante mundo digital, especializándome en Periodismo Digital