Florida advances bill banning social media for minors under 16

Florida’s House Regulatory Reform and Economic Development Subcommittee has approved a proposed social media for minors legislation. Scheduled for scrutiny by the Judiciary committee, if signed into law, the measure will become effective on July 1.

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A proposed legislation, known as HB-1 or “Social Media Use for Minors,” has passed the initial stage in Florida, receiving approval from the House Regulatory Reform and Economic Development Subcommittee with a 13 to 1 vote.

The bill aims to prohibit children under 16 from creating social media accounts on platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. If enacted, social media companies would be obligated to delete existing accounts and associated information of users under 16.

The bill, set to be scrutinized by the Judiciary Committee, faces criticism for potential infringements on free speech and parental rights, while concerns about loopholes linger. If signed into law, it will take effect on July 1.

Why does it matter?

Florida has aligned itself with several other US states, including Ohio, Arkansas, and California, by introducing laws intended to safeguard minors. However, it’s worth noting that these laws have encountered resistance, with NetChoice, a commercial association representing major entities like Google, Amazon, Meta, and TikTok, successfully challenging their implementation in court. The likelihood of the Florida bill facing the same legal challenges remains significant if it progresses to law.