A bill that bans minors under 16 using social media accounts is passed by the Florida House

The Florida House of Representatives has passed a bill that aims to restrict children aged 16 and younger from using social media platforms. This legislation, filed as HB 1 in the House and SB 1788 in the Senate, reflects growing concerns about the impact of social media on minors.

Key Features of the Bill:

  1. Age Restriction: The bill requires social media platforms to prohibit minors under the age of 16 from creating new accounts.
  2. Account Termination: Social media companies must terminate existing accounts of minors and provide additional options for such termination.
  3. Age Verification: Platforms are required to use reasonable age verification methods to verify the ages of account holders.
  4. Disclosure Requirements: The bill mandates social media platforms to disclose specific policies and provide certain resources, measures, and disclaimers.
  5. Enforcement and Penalties: The bill authorizes the Department of Legal Affairs to bring actions for violations under the Florida Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices Act, with provisions for private causes of action and penalties for non-compliance.
  6. Effective Date: If passed into law, the bill will become effective on July 1, 2024​​.

Rationale Behind the Bill:

The legislation is a major priority for House Speaker Paul Renner, who has expressed concerns about the “devastating effect on kids” of social media. This concern aligns with broader apprehensions regarding the negative impacts of social media on youth, including issues like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and cyberbullying. The bill aims to protect minors from these adverse effects.

Comparative Legislation:

Florida’s bill mirrors efforts in other states to regulate social media access for minors. For example, in 2023, Utah passed a law requiring users under 18 to obtain a parent or guardian’s permission before creating a social media account. New York has also considered similar legislation.


Under the proposed legislation in Florida, social media companies would be obligated to implement mechanisms for banning new accounts by minors, deleting existing minor accounts, and honoring parental requests for account closures. The bill also includes provisions for using independent organizations to conduct reasonable age verifications for new account creators.

Potential Impact:

This bill, if enacted, could significantly alter the social media landscape for minors in Florida. It would place considerable responsibility on social media platforms to ensure compliance with age restrictions and verification processes. The effectiveness and enforcement of these measures, as well as their impact on the behavior and mental health of minors, would be key aspects to monitor.


The Florida House’s passage of this bill indicates a strong legislative intent to regulate the use of social media by minors, driven by concerns over their mental health and well-being. The bill’s progression through the legislative process and its potential enactment will be closely watched by various stakeholders, including social media companies, parents, educators, and child welfare advocates.