Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Banning Kids Under 14 From Social Media

By Published on March 26, 2024

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed a bill Monday banning minors under the age of 14 from getting on social media.

The legislation, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2025, requires social media companies to prohibit minors from creating accounts without parental consent, and also to  delete existing accounts for children under the age of 14, according to the text of the bill. Florida Republican lawmakers introduced the bill in January; DeSantis said the purpose was to help parents protect their young children from the harms of social media, according to a press release.

“Social media harms children in a variety of ways,” DeSantis said in a statement. “HB 3 gives parents a greater ability to protect their children.”

The new law will also require social media companies, which are not named in the bill, to delete all “personal information” regarding the minor who created the account. DeSantis also praised Republican state House Speaker Paul Renner for “delivering” the legislation to his desk.

“The internet has become a dark alley for our children where predators target them and dangerous social media leads to higher rates of depression, self-harm, and even suicide,” Renner said in a statement. “I am proud of the work of all our bill sponsors, Representatives Tyler Sirois, Fiona McFarland, Michele Rayner, Chase Tramont, and Toby Overdorf, for delivering a legislative framework that prioritizes keeping our children safe. Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ signature, Florida leads the way in protecting children online as states across the country fight to address these dangers.”

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On March 1, DeSantis vetoed a similar bill that would have barred social media companies from allowing minors under 16 from having a social media account. While he said he supported the content, lawmakers were working on a “different, superior bill.”

Parental advocates and lawmakers have voiced concerns about young children’s access to social media and exposure to pornographic websites. Several other states have also implemented age-verification requirements for minors on social media, including Utah and Virginia.

 

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