DeSantis Pushes for Parental Rights Over Social Media Ban for Kids

DeSantis Pushes for Parental Rights Over Social Media Ban for Kids

DeSantis cites legal concerns over new social media ban, promises to work on bill to promote parental rights

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
January 26, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Gov. DeSantis has weighed in on potential legal concerns for the social media ban for minors bill that passed the House Floor Thursday. Gov. DeSantis explained that while he agreed with the bill, it was likely to evolve to expand parental rights.

"I think social media has been a net negative for our youth without question," DeSantis said in a press conference Friday afternoon, "I also understand that to just say that someone that's 15 just cannot have it no matter what, even if the parent consents, that that may create some legal issues."

"I told the Speaker I'd work with them on it, so I would say that this is something that's likely going to evolve as it gets through the House and makes its way through the Senate, and we'll see if we get a product of that that is going to be something that's good," He added.

HB 1 proposes an all-out ban on children using social media under the age of 16. Many Democrats, like Rep. Darryl Campbell, had voiced concerns over the lack of parental discretion over their own children.

"As a State, with this bill we are telling parents that you are not fit to be a parent—to make the best decision for your child," Campbell said. "This is a complete government overreach."

HB 1, a bipartisan-sponsored bill, would require social media platforms to use a third-party age verification software on all current and future account holders, though it is yet to be determined what the age verification process would look like. Any social media platform in noncompliance would be fined $50,000 per violation. If a minor or minor's guardian notices and reports such a violation, the platform is liable for up to $10,000 in civil damages to be paid to the reporting party.

The Senate companion bill, SB 1788, has yet to see committee.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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