Florida Lawmakers unveils updated Social Media Legislation

Florida senators will consider a revamped bill next week to keep children under 16 off social media but allow parents to obtain approval for 14- and 15-year-olds to have accounts. Gov. Ron DeSantis rejected an earlier bill.

After talks with Palm Coast Republican House Speaker Paul Renner, who wants to limit kids’ social media use, DeSantis announced the updated plan Friday.

After HB 1 comfortably passed the House and Senate, DeSantis vetoed it Friday. DeSantis questioned the bill’s constitutionality and effects on parental rights.

“I have vetoed CS/HB 1 because the Legislature is about to produce a different, superior bill,” DeSantis stated. Protecting children from social media hazards, respecting parents’ rights, and allowing adults to speak anonymously are crucial. I expect the new bill to acknowledge these principles and pass soon.”

The amended plan allows parents to consent to 14- and 15-year-olds having social media profiles. Significantly, the amended plan eliminated age-verification criteria from the prior measure.

Potential users would have needed anonymous age verification on social media. Platforms may have offered “standard” age-verification procedures. Users could select between both techniques if offered.

Renner said the updated plan would open social-media platforms to lawsuits for age violations instead of such regulations. That includes state attorney general and minor lawsuits.

NetChoice applauded DeSantis’ veto but warned Friday that the revamped proposal will likely be challenged in court. It highlighted a court order blocking Ohio-like regulations.