PTC Commends Florida Law Prohibiting Minors from Creating Social Media Accounts – A First Step in Online Child Protection

Written by PTC | Published April 2, 2024

LOS ANGELES (April 2, 2024) – The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) commended Florida’s new law prohibiting minors under age 14 from creating or operating social media accounts due to screen addiction and harmful content concerns, and said that the next step is for the U.S. Congress to pass federal legislation to protect children online.

“We commend Florida for courageously finding a solution to protect minors from online harms by prohibiting their access to social media. Children are up against the entire tech industry that does not prioritize online child safety, instead prioritizing profits over protection. States like Florida are rightfully finding ways to chip away at Big Tech’s influence on our children. Now the U.S. Congress must act at a federal level by passing the Kids Online Safety Act and other child protection measures to further ensure children cannot be marketed to, preyed upon, and used for profit by technology companies,” said Melissa Henson, vice president, Parents Television and Media Council.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, continues to be revealed by media outlets, whistleblowers, and lawsuits as fueling child sexual exploitation, providing a platform for pedophiles, and enabling sexually explicit and other harmful content that targets teens, especially teen girls. In October 2023, Meta was sued by the District of Columbia and 41 states claiming its products are addictive and potentially harmful to children and their mental health.

Snapchat has been used to “lure and sexually exploit children.” The New York Times reported that X/Twitter has struggled to confront its child sexual exploitation problem. Parents are suing Roblox over sexual content on its platform. Children have even tragically resorted to suicide because they have faced sextortion threats online, which the FBI said is increasing and has issued a warning about.

Studies find that teens indicate that social media makes them anxious and depressed. The U.S. Surgeon General has warned about the mental health crisis of America’s youth and the harm social media can have on them. A Pew Research Center report found that “nearly three-quarters of U.S. teens say they feel happy or peaceful when they don’t have their phones with them.”

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