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Social media ban vote sets up possible DeSantis veto

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida lawmakers’ decision to pass their bill banning teenagers younger than 16 from “addictive” social media sites has set off a rare scenario where Gov. DeSantis could veto legislation Tallahassee lawmakers have labeled a priority.

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Outside of the governor himself, no one knows if DeSantis plans to veto or sign the bill once it officially hits his desk. He will have seven days to make a decision since the legislature is currently in session.

In remarks earlier Thursday, DeSantis called the bill not ready and said as a parent, he believed the state shouldn’t be cutting parents out of the decision to allow teens on social media.

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“I do think parents are concerned about social media, and what goes on there,” he told reporters. “I do think they think it’s a problem, but I also think that for people that are in high school, it’s not as simple. I think you got to have some parent involvement.”

Opponents of the bill have gone a step further, saying it tramples parental rights and is likely a First Amendment violation. The bill is guaranteed to draw a legal challenge the moment it’s signed into law, if that happens, which means it may never take effect.

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Bipartisan supporters of the bill have repeatedly acknowledged the parental rights issue but said the need for their bill outweighs that.

“If you accept that these platforms are harmful, there can be no parental consent,” Rep. Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island) said. “An algorithm is no substitute for a conscience and a computer programmer is no replacement for a parent.”

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