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23 July, 2024
 
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USA: Florida passes bill banning minors from social media platforms

Controversial legislation aims to protect children from harm but faces opposition over first amendment concerns

Newsroom

In a bid to combat rising concerns over child safety, the Florida House and Senate approved a bill imposing one of the nation's strictest bans on social media use by minors under 16. The legislation, now awaiting Governor Ron DeSantis' decision, targets platforms using addictive features and aims to curb issues like cyberbullying and online predation. Supporters argue for the well-being of children, while opponents claim it violates First Amendment rights and should be a matter of parental discretion.

The bill passed with a 108-7 vote in the House and a 23-14 vote in the Senate. It addresses concerns about children's safety online, citing rising suicide rates, cyberbullying, and predatory behavior on social media. The legislation categorically restricts minors' use of platforms with addictive features, emphasizing the responsibility of businesses to protect children from harm.

While some argue that the bill addresses a critical need to protect children, opponents, including Democratic Senator Jason Pizzo, contend that it infringes on First Amendment rights and should be a matter of parental responsibility. The bill requires social media companies to close accounts believed to be used by minors and delete associated information upon request.

Governor Ron DeSantis, who expressed privacy concerns, will decide on the bill's fate. Proponents hope that the legislation, focusing on addictive features rather than content, will withstand legal challenges. However, critics argue that it oversteps the bounds of government intervention and should be left to parents to decide.

Source: AP News

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Cyprus  |  USA  |  cyberbullying  |  social media  |  children

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