Florida's DeSantis signs one of the country's most restrictive social media bans for minors


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida will have one of the country’s most restrictive social media bans for minors — if it withstands expected legal challenges — under a bill signed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday.

The bill will ban social media accounts for children under 14 and require parental permission for 15- and 16-year-olds. It was slightly watered down from a proposal DeSantis vetoed earlier this month, a week before the annual legislative session ended.

The new law was Republican Speaker Paul Renner’s top legislative priority. It takes effect Jan. 1.

The bill DeSantis vetoed would have banned minors under 16 from popular social media platforms regardless of parental consent. But before the veto, he worked out compromise language with Renner to alleviate the governor’s concerns and the Legislature sent DeSantis a second bill.

Several states have considered similar legislation. In Arkansas, a federal judge blocked enforcement of a law in August that required parental consent for minors to create new social media accounts.

Supporters in Florida hope the bill will withstand legal challenges because it would ban social media formats based on addictive features such as notification alerts and auto-play videos, rather than on their content.



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