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Florida Bill to Prohibit Social Media Access to Children Under 16 Passes House

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Florida Bill to Prohibit Social Media Access to Children Under 16 Passes House

By Movieguide®  Contributor

Florida House lawmakers have approved a groundbreaking bill that would restrict access to social media for those under the age of 16.

The bill, approved by a vote of 106 to 13, prohibits children under 16 from accessing social media platforms, regardless of parental approval. The motion was taken in response to the dangerously addictive direction that social media companies have paved without regard for the mental health of their users.

“It’s like a digital fentanyl, and even the most plugged-in parent or attuned teen has a hard time shutting the door against these addictive features,” said state representative Fiona McFarland.

The initiative to regulate social media has grown within the past year as multiple state governments have toyed with similar laws. Earlier this year, an Ohio law that requires anyone under the age of 16 to receive parental consent to create a social media account went into effect. Arkansas and Utah have passed similar laws for children under 18.

Other ideas to create a less addictive internet culture include a law in the European Union that requires social media platforms to allow their algorithms to be turned off in favor of a linear feed that only includes posts from followed accounts.

Social media companies, meanwhile, argue that these types of regulations infringe on First Amendment rights. Furthermore, they claim that they have implemented proper parental controls that sufficiently protect children when properly used.

“Many teens today leverage the internet and apps to responsibly gather information and learn about new opportunities, including part-time jobs, higher education, civic or church gatherings, and military service,” Meta representative Caulder Harvill-Childs told the House Judiciary Committee, per the AP. “By banning teens under 16, Florida risks putting its young people at a disadvantage versus teens elsewhere.”

To further deter future regulations, Meta rolled out a series of new parental control features to protect children who use its platforms. These protections include limiting the people who can message accounts registered to minors and requiring parental consent for various content controls to be changed.

While Meta appears to be taking steps to protect young users, these changes do not address the concerns of addiction held by many parents and lawmakers.

With approval from the House, the Florida bill will now be voted upon by the State’s Senate before being sent to the Governor to be signed into law. If the bill were to pass, it would be the country’s most restrictive social media regulation to date.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Florida lawmakers have introduced a bill that would restrict access to social media for anyone younger than 16 to help protect children from the dangers of the platforms.

The bill would require social media sites to verify a user’s age and ban anyone under the age of 16 from creating or running an account.

“We’ve got to think about kids,” said Florida House Speaker Paul Renner. “We tell them they…can’t smoke until they’re 18, they can’t get tattoos or earrings without their parents’ consent, all of these things. But and 8-year-old kid can get online and see pornography…That doesn’t make sense. How do we let [that] happen?”

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.