Florida Senate Passes Bill That Bans Social Media Use For Minors

Florida legislators are closer to keeping minors away from social media.

With a bi-partisan vote of 23-14, the Florida Senate on Thursday passed HB-1, a bill designed to prevent children under the age of 16 from accessing social media platforms. This decision follows the Florida House of Representatives’ approval of the bill in January. The bill is now heading back to the House for confirmation of the Senate’s amendments.

The legislation mandates the closure of any existing social media accounts held by minors under 16 and prohibits the creation of new ones. The Senate revised the bill to expand the definition of “social media” to include platforms featuring “addictive features” such as infinite scrolling, autoplay videos, and push notifications. 

Moreover, the bill introduces a requirement for both social media and pornographic websites to implement anonymous age verification processes through a third-party service, ensuring personal information is not retained.

Once it’s approved by the House, it will head to the office of Governor Ron DeSantis, who has previously indicated that the bill might require further modifications to address these concerns effectively.

“I’m sympathetic to, as a parent, what’s going on with our youth,” DeSantis said at a news conference in January. “But I also understand that to just say that someone that’s 15 just cannot have it no matter what, even if the parent consents, that may create some legal issues.”

Supporters of the bill, including Senator Erin Grall, argue that it is a necessary step to protect children from the detrimental effects of social media on mental health. They cite evidence linking social media use to various mental health issues among children, emphasizing the need to confront the powerful influence of social media companies.

The US Surgeon General has also highlighted the risks associated with prolonged social media use by children, including exposure to harmful content and the negative impact on sleep and in-person interactions.

However, critics of the bill, such as Senator Jason W. B. Pizzo, argue that regulating children’s social media usage should fall within the purview of parental responsibility, suggesting that the legislation conflicts with the state’s “parental rights” agenda. 

Proponents maintain that the bill aims to safeguard children from the pervasive dangers of social media, including cyberbullying and its associated risks to mental health. 

Information for this story was found via WFLA, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

One thought on “Florida Senate Passes Bill That Bans Social Media Use For Minors

  • February 24, 2024 9:30 AM at 9:30 am

    Canada under Justin Trudeau should follow suit with the same while banning all access to demeaning pornography that seems more an issue of violence against women and maybe a contributing factor in the mental health that distorts the realities of life. As most women do not enjoy abuse .So it would be my opinion better for all those that are Canadian to do so while following Florida and China although China has implemented this into Chinese society already . Canada should do the same.


Leave a Reply