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Florida Senate Passes Revamped Social Media Ban

The Florida Channel

Florida - Monday March 4, 2024: The Florida Senate on Monday overwhelmingly passed a revamped measure aimed at keeping children off social media.

The Senate voted 30 to 5 to approve the revised bill, three days after Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed an earlier version.

The new proposal would prohibit children under 14 from opening social-media accounts, unless a parent granted permission to their 14, or 15-year-old child. Children under the age of 14 would still be barred from opening a social media account.

DeSantis and legislative leaders negotiated the revamped bill.

The original proposal would have banned children under the age of 16 from opening a social media account, and it did not provide any role for parents. The Governor feared the measure would become the target of legal action.

Supporters contend that social media harms children’s mental health and can lead to sexual predators communicating with minors. Republican State Senator Erin Grall sponsored the original bill and helped negotiate the revised version. “We have to do something," said Sen. Grall, " we can’t stand by any longer and allow these companies to own our children with this terrible content.”

However, Democrat Senator Bobby Powell believes even revamped proposal is “government overreach. “This is a well-intentioned bill," he said, "but we cannot teach people how to be parents. Parents, at some point, have to step up and teach their kids.”

The revised bill now must go back to the Florida House for approval, before heading back to the Governor for his signature. No date has been set yet for a House vote, but it is all but certain to pass.

The annual legislative session is scheduled to end this coming Friday.