Restriction: Students debate social media ban


In light of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signing a restrictive social media ban into law, there is talk about the necessity of the legislation and also concern about how the legislation is potentially harmful, possibly even a violation of the rights of youth in America. 

The signed bill will ban children under 14 from numerous social media platforms and will require 14- and 15-year-olds to gain parental consent to use such platforms. Those under 16 who do not have parental consent will have their accounts terminated.

I understand the skepticism with this bill, as it appears to be taking away a vital part of how children communicate and express themselves online. However, having grown up with social media, I am a firm believer in the danger that it can cause. 

Children don’t need to be exposed to some of the vulgar content and language that are on these platforms. With apps, such as TikTok specifically, liking one video with more mature subject matter can lead to someone’s whole feed being filled with similar videos, which creates a dangerous and also addictive cycle, especially for children.

These platforms also encourage harmful comparisons. Images of people’s seemingly “perfect” lives make it easy for younger kids to compare themselves to what they see on their screens, which can negatively impact their confidence and self-worth.

It is also important to consider that many big social media platforms including TikTok and Instagram already have policies that require users to be at least 13, so this bill simply more firmly enforces what the platforms already have in place.

Children don’t need social media. They will still be able to find ways to do the things they love without being subject to the harm that social media causes. This bill will just protect them down the line from harm to their mental health.



There have been many mixed feelings with Gov. Ron DeSantis signing in bill HB3 to restrict access to social media for children 14-years-old and under. The bill aims to protect children from the harmful effects of social media and gives children who are 14 or 15 the opportunity to make an account with the consent of a parent or guardian.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many people have an issue with young children on social media, and the proposed restrictions are definitely being heard with an open mind. However, many are claiming that the specific terms of HB3 are infringing on the First Amendment right of these children. 

Additionally, the bill will require that social media platforms remove all accounts belonging to children under 14 to avoid a hefty fine and attorney fees. This raises questions about users slipping through the cracks or social media companies being wrongfully fined for not taking down an account, especially since it’s not unheard of for children to lie about their age when creating social media accounts.

Though I do think it’s commendable that DeSantis feels social media platforms aren’t doing enough to protect our children, I don’t believe HB3 is a sufficient solution. 

The problem lies mainly with uninvolved parents. The obvious and most effective solution to this problem, especially in a world where social media is becoming a part of our everyday lives and unfortunately something children have to grow up with, is for parents to set boundaries with their children regarding social media. Parents should be having meaningful and productive conversations with their children about what is and isn’t appropriate to be doing or seeing on the internet. 

I’m not saying 7-year-olds should have full access to Instagram just because their parents have warned them of the dangers of the internet, but it should be up to the parents to do their own research and decide these things.  

It’s important that children learn what the proper and safe ways to use the internet are and for the restriction to be on a household level, created and implemented by the parents or guardians of a household. 

It’s commonly acknowledged that strict parents make sneaky kids. HB3’s age restrictions will just have children lying about their age and going behind their parents back. The solution should be to educate children, not shield them from the reality of social media.


Featured photo courtesy of Tracy Le Blanc, Pexels