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Florida legislature passes revised social media ban for minors

2024-03-08T14:45:24+00:00
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Florida lawmakers pass revised social media ban (Photo: Shutterstock)
  • Florida lawmakers pass revised social media ban.
  • DeSantis vetoed an earlier version of the law.
  • What does the bill say?

After an earlier version was vetoed by Governor DeSantis, Florida lawmakers passed a revised version of a controversial bill.

Known as House Bill 3 (HB 3), it aims to limit minors’ access to social media.

It is noteworthy that this legislation has undergone significant changes since it was vetoed.

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Florida lawmakers pass revised social media ban for minors

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The original bill sought to completely prohibit minors under 16 from accessing social media, however it has been significantly modified.

Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the measure, prompting a thorough review that led to significant changes, according to EFE.

Following this setback, there was a comprehensive review of the bill, resulting in a revised version that prohibits anyone under 14 from creating a social media account.

This modification reflects a shift towards more detailed and careful regulation regarding minors’ access to social media.

Minors will have limited access to social media

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The bill explicitly establishes specific restrictions for different age ranges, making it somewhat less stringent than the original sweeping ban for anyone under 16.

Under HB 3, children under 13 are prohibited from creating social media accounts.

Furthermore, teenagers aged 14 and 15 will require parental authorization to create accounts.

Additionally, sites containing adult content must have age verification to prevent anyone under 18 from accessing them.

Adult sites must use third-party age verification

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Age verification on adult sites is one of the most controversial provisions of the bill.

Anyone attempting to access these sites will be required to prove their age through a third party.

However, it is expected that this provision will be challenged in the courts, potentially leading to significant legal challenges.

It is important to highlight that Florida lawmakers passed the revised social media ban with bipartisan support.

Florida lawmakers pass a revised social media ban

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HB 3 passed with strong majorities in both the state Senate and the House of Representatives.

This broad approval reflects the shared concern for the online safety of minors.

Now, the bill is in the hands of Governor DeSantis, who must decide whether to sign it or not.

DeSantis vetoed the original version but has signaled that he will sign this bill.

Will DeSantis veto it again?

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If DeSantis signs the bill, Florida will join other states that have implemented similar measures to regulate minors’ access to social media.

This legislative action responds to growing concerns about the negative impact social media can have on teenagers’ mental health and well-being.

Advocates argue that social media increases suicide rates in adolescents and leads to issues such as cyberbullying and child exploitation.

Opponents argue that the measure could violate the First Amendment by restricting parental supervision over minors’ social media use.

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