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Florida passes law limiting children’s access to social media

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill that prohibits children under the age of 14 from possessing their own social media accounts.

According to a statement from the U.S. state governor’s office, the law also requires 14- and 15-year-olds to get parental consent in order to have social media accounts.

“Social media harms children in a variety of ways,” said the Republican governor, noting that the “landmark” legislation “gives parents a greater ability to protect their children.”

In addition, the bill requires pornographic or sexually explicit websites to use age verification to prevent minors from accessing sites that are inappropriate for children.

The bill goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2025.

The new law makes Florida the most recent state among many, including Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Ohio, and Utah, to implement regulations limiting children’s access to social media platforms.

Advocates argue that the law would curb the negative impact of excessive social media usage on children’s mental health.

Opponents, however, believe that the legislation infringes upon the First Amendment, which protects the right to free speech, which means the new law is expected to face legal opposition akin to challenges already underway in other states.  (Xinhua/NAN)

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