Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that introduces stringent regulations on children’s access to social media platforms. Under the new law, children under the age of 14 are banned from using social media altogether, while 14- and 15-year-olds must obtain parental consent to create accounts.

The legislation, signed into law on Monday, addresses growing concerns about the detrimental impact of social media on young people’s well-being. Supporters of the measure argue that it will shield children from online risks that contribute to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

Initially proposed by the state’s Republican-led legislature in February, the bill underwent modifications before receiving Governor DeSantis’s approval. Originally, the legislation sought to bar children under 16 from accessing social media entirely. However, DeSantis vetoed the initial version, citing concerns about parental rights.

The amended bill now empowers parents to grant consent for older children to engage on social media platforms. Set to take effect on January 1, 2025, the law mandates social media companies to terminate accounts of individuals under 14 and those aged 16 who lack parental approval. Additionally, platforms are required to implement a third-party verification system to prevent underage users from accessing their services.

Governor DeSantis emphasized the harmful effects of social media on children, stating that the legislation provides parents with greater control over their children’s online activities. Proponents of the law assert that it addresses a pressing need to mitigate the negative repercussions of excessive social media use among young individuals.