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The Charger Account

The Student News Site of Dos Pueblos High School

The Charger Account

The Student News Site of Dos Pueblos High School

The Charger Account

Florida Social Media Ban

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On March 25, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that bans children 13 and under from social media platforms. The bill also implements a third-party verification that keeps teenagers 14 to 15 years old from signing up without parental consent.

“We stand here today at a critical time with the pervasive influence of social media that has infiltrated every part of our lives, but especially our students’ lives,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz.

Parents in Florida, including the governor himself, have raised concerns for their children growing up on a platform where they are exposed to anything on whatever social media app they use. At the signing of the bill, Gov. DeSantis spoke about his own children, who are younger than five, and how he wants them to grow up unaffected by the negativity of social media.`

“You can have a kid in the house safe seemingly and then you have predators that can get right in there, into your own home,” DeSantis said. “You could be doing everything right, but [the predators] know how to get and manipulate these different platforms, and so it’s created huge problems.”

Florida House Speaker Paul Renner also spoke at the signing of the bill, talking about why the bill is important and how it will bring a positive impact to Florida’s youth.

“What we have addressed is the addictive features that are at the heart of why children stay on these platforms for hours and hours on end,” said Renner. “Whether it’s infinite scrolling or the likes and hearts that gives you that little dopamine hit … that keeps you wanting to stay online longer and longer.”

NBC News interviewed parents to see how they would respond to the bill and how they feel about social media in general.

“I think it’s gotten kind of out of control to be honest,” Florida Parent Ryan Hamlin said. “I’m on it too much, but as far as the younger generation, they just need to get outside more … As far as [the governor’s] regulating stuff, I don’t really know how I feel about that.”

There are people who disagree with this bill, saying it violates the First Amendment’s protection of free speech and that parents should overall make decisions about their kids, not the government.

“I think that it’s a bit of a government overreach at that point,” Kyle Veasey said in an interview with WXYZ-TV Detroit. “I think that maybe … an age range might need to be installed or some sort of protections to keep kids separate, but to ban it entirely doesn’t seem like the right idea.”

Florida is not the first state to sign a bill regulating children’s access to social media platforms, as there have been similar bills signed in Utah, Arkansas, Ohio, and Texas. Each of these bills are structured to hold social media companies accountable and limit children from using social media and screens in general.

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Chloe Minor
Chloe Minor, Reporter
Chloe Minor (9) smiles as she plays the guitar in front of a mural on campus, which depicts another person playing a guitar. Music is a big part of Chloe’s life, and she hopes to even have it be a big part of her future. “[My] dream would be to be a musician or a journalist. I love writing and singing and making music,” Chloe said.
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