Floridian kids aged 13 or younger face a social media app ban in Florida, while those aged 14 to 16 will only be allowed to use the apps with parental permission.

Opponents argue that the new law, known as HB 3, will do more harm than good, putting user privacy at risk …

CNET reports that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law on Monday, though it doesn’t take effect until January 1 next year.

DeSantis signed one of the country’s most restrictive social media bills into law Monday, banning children under the age of 14 from having accounts and requiring children aged 14 to 16 to have parental consent to hold one.

In addition to restrictions on teenage use of social media, the law also requires age verification for anyone who wants to visit pornographic websites.

The bill reflects growing concern about the impact of social media on the mental health of teens. NYU professor Jonathan Haidt argues the case for this in a new book out today, The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness.

After more than a decade of stability or improvement, the mental health of adolescents plunged in the early 2010s. Rates of depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide rose sharply, more than doubling on many measures. Why? […]

Haidt shows how the “play-based childhood” began to decline in the 1980s, and how it was finally wiped out by the arrival of the “phone-based childhood” in the early 2010s. He presents more than a dozen mechanisms by which this “great rewiring of childhood” has interfered with children’s social and neurological development, covering everything from sleep deprivation to attention fragmentation, addiction, loneliness, social contagion, social comparison, and perfectionism. He explains why social media damages girls more than boys and why boys have been withdrawing from the real world into the virtual world, with disastrous consequences for themselves, their families, and their societies.

Not everyone supports the law, however, with some arguing that it’s a gross invasion of privacy for everyone in Florida, teens and adult alike. NetChoice, a lobbying group supported by many tech companies, makes this case.

HB 3 in effect will impose an “I.D. for the Internet” on any Floridian who wants to use an online service—no matter their age. To be able to determine (1) whether a user in Florida is under the age of 14 and (2) whether the adult doing the verifying a minor over the age of 14 is truly that child’s parent or guardian, online services will need to conduct identity verification.

This level of data collection will put Floridians’ privacy and security at risk, and it violates their constitutional rights.

Are you for or against the law? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash and RawPixel/CC0

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

#Kids #face #social #media #app #ban #Florida #teens #permission

Categorized in: