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South Australia Considers Ban On Social Media For Children Under 14

The South Australian government has announced plans to potentially ban social media access for those under the age of 14.

Supported by Premier Peter Malinauskas, this initiative follows growing concerns about the adverse effects of excessive social media use on young minds.

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Former High Court Chief Justice Robert French has been appointed to conduct a legal examination into banning accounts for children and explore the legal avenues for implementing this ban.

If successful, South Australia would become the first jurisdiction in Australia to impose such restrictions, joining ranks with countries like Spain and the US state of Florida.

The proposed legislation would mandate parental consent for 14 and 15-year-olds to access social media platforms.

“Like most parents, I am concerned about the impact social media is having on children in our community,” Premier Malinauskas said.

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“We are seeing mounting evidence from experts of the adverse impact of social media on children, their mental health and development.”

However, Communication expert Catherine Page Jeffery from the University of Sydney cautioned against a blanket ban.

She highlighted the importance of empowering parents to establish rules tailored to their children’s maturity and risk tolerance.

“Banning things might seem like the easy answer, I think it rarely is,” Dr Page Jeffery said.

Maybe we need to be legislating, to hold some of these super powerful platforms to a better standard – and that seems like a better approach than legislating to actually deny young people the right to participate online.”

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