This Thursday, March 2, 2023 will undoubtedly remain in the annals of social networks. The National Assembly has just adopted a bill aimed at controlling those under 15 when they wish to consult social networks. Specifically, platforms will need to get permission from their parents before granting them access.
Presented this Thursday, March 2, 2023, the bill aimed at fixing a numerical majority at 15 years has just been adopted by the National Assembly. Its objective is twofold: the law wants on the one hand to “establish a numerical majority” as said previously, but also and above all “to fight against online hatred”.
From now on, it will be up to parents to give their consent or not when their child under 15 wants to connect to social networks. Because until now, no text prohibited registering with such platforms, since the Data Protection Act did not take into consideration the overall digital majority.
The Assembly sets the numerical majority at 15 years
Social networks will soon have to control the age of their users. But how can the measures of this law be implemented? Concretely, the platforms in question will have to ensure that minors under the age of 15 have explicitly obtained the consent of their parents to register on such platforms. In the event of non-compliance, the proposal provides for penalties.
As explained by Laurent Marcangeli, the deputy at the origin of this text of law, it is not a question of playing the “anti-social networks”. This measure aims above all to “reduce cyberbullying between young people”, of which social networks and instant messaging are one of the main vectors.
Are social networks likely to see their number of users drop? If the youngest are not interested in Facebook, this law has reason to worry about networks like TikTok or Instagram. The more restrictive the measures, the more the number of new and old users is likely to decrease in the months to come. Remember, however, that some platforms already impose a minimum age: on Snapchat, Instagram or TikTok, you must be at least 13 years old to register. On WhatsApp, the minimum age is set at 16 years old.
The proposal was adopted almost unanimously at first reading: 82 votes to 2. However, it will now have to be submitted to the Senate.
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