Florida to ban social media for kids—will Canada follow suit?
A bill prohibiting kids under the age of 14 from creating social media accounts was passed in Florida by Ron DeSantis on Monday. 

Alexa Posa

March 27, 2024

A bill prohibiting kids under the age of 14 from creating social media accounts was passed in Florida by Ron DeSantis on Monday. 

Florida to ban social media for kids—will Canada follow suit?

Bill HB 3 will ban children under the age of 14 from creating accounts on social media and force the affected platforms to delete existing profiles operated by said minors. 

Kids between the ages of 14 and 15 may be allowed to register a social media account but will require parental consent to do so. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill on Monday, which is slated to come into force on January 1, 2025.

“Social media harms children in a variety of ways. HB 3 gives parents a greater ability to protect their children,” Governor DeSantis said in a news release. 

Support and backlash

House Speaker Paul Renner endorsed the bill, stating, “The internet has become a dark alley for our children where predators target them and dangerous social media leads to higher rates of depression, self-harm, and even suicide.”

But Meta, the company owned by Mark Zuckerberg that serves as the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, said the new bill would increase data privacy issues, as social media users will have to provide additional information to verify their age. 

Some individuals disagree with the social media ban in Florida, feeling it eliminates the child’s freedom and interferes with parental rights. 

Psychologist perspectives 

Author and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has recently been vocal regarding mental health and addiction concerns involving youth using social media. 

He’s warned about apps that involve endless scrolling, saying they can negatively affect a child’s sleep patterns, attention span, and real-world interactions, thereby creating an increase in anxiety, loneliness, and suicide. 

“Thirteen-year-olds should not be scrolling through endless posts from influencers and other strangers when their brains are in such an open state, searching for exemplars to lock onto,” he stated. 

 “They should be playing, synchronizing, and hanging out with their friends in person.”

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