Florida Senate passes social media ban for minors

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Senate passed a bill Thursday that would ban people under the age of 16 from accessing social media platforms.


HB-1 was approved by the state Senate with a vote of 23 yeas and 14 nays.

The Florida House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bill last month, but will have to vote again due to amendments made in the Senate.

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DeSantis has previously said he’d be reluctant to sign the bill because it likely wouldn’t stand up in court.

If signed, the would prevent anyone under 16 from creating social media accounts and would require social media platforms to terminate existing accounts that are “reasonably known” by the platforms to be held by minors.

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Opponents of the bill have argued the legislation may not be constitutional, saying it tramples on parental rights, limits teens’ free speech and unconstitutionally burdens adults from accessing social media platforms, among other infringements.

Supporters of the bill have described social media as being harmful to children’s mental health.

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The Florida Senate revamped the bill before passing it, including changes in the criteria for determining which platforms would be subject to the restrictions.

The criteria would include issues related to algorithms, “addictive features,” and allowing users to view the content or activities of other users.

If signed into law by Gov. DeSantis, the ban would go into effect on July 1.

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