Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

DeSantis vetoes social media ban for kids under 16, Florida lawmakers offer new option

By 37ci3 Mar2,2024

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday vetoed one of the most sweeping social media bans for minors, and lawmakers are proposing new language that seeks to protect children under 14 from addiction. platforms.

The The bill was sent to the governor last week It would prohibit minors under the age of 16 from using popular social media platforms regardless of parental consent. DeSantis had concerns about privacy issues and parental rights, but it appears there is a new proposal that would allow 14- and 15-year-olds on social media with parental consent and prohibit access for younger children.

“The Legislature is about to craft a different, superior bill,” DeSantis said in his veto message. “It’s important to protect children from the harms associated with social media, support parents’ rights, and protect adults’ ability to speak anonymously.”

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Florida Republican House Speaker Paul Renner discusses Gov. Ron DeSantis’ veto of a bill that would ban children under 16 from using social media without parental consent in Tallahassee, Florida, on Friday.Brendan Farrington / AP

He said he expected the new bill to be signed into law on Monday, a few days before the legislative session ends on March 8.

Lawmakers expected a veto and were working with DeSantis on a compromise. This issue is a top priority for Republican House Speaker Paul Renner, who believes that social media is causing psychological damage to children.

“My personal opinion is that we should go to 18 years. This is bad. It’s poison,” Renner said. “Their business model is addiction that harms children for profit. This is not good.”

But Renner expressed optimism after the veto, saying the new proposal was an improvement on the original bill and would have broader public support.

“It’s a good product of compromise,” he said. “It will have a better chance of going through the courts.”

Several states have considered similar legislation. In Arkansas, a A federal judge blocked the enforcement law in August requiring 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 that rely on addictive features like push notifications and autoplay videos rather than the content on their sites.

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By 37ci3

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