Rep. Garcia Co-Sponsors HB 1 to 'Keep Children Safe' on the Internet

Rep. Garcia Co-Sponsors HB 1 to 'Keep Children Safe' on the Internet

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
January 12, 2024

State Representative Alina Garcia (R-FL) sat down for an exclusive interview with The Floridian to discuss one of the bills she co-sponsored, HB 1. The legislation would require social media platforms to “use verification methods to verify ages of account holders.”

It would also require social media platforms to “prohibit minors from creating new accounts,” according to the Florida Legislature’s website.

State Rep. Garcia told The Floridian that HB 1 is geared to let “children be children and adults be adults” while on the internet.

“The bill is to keep our children safe. There are new predators now that we have social media. And sometimes kids don’t know what they’re doing and they will go into websites,” said State Rep. Garcia. “Children need to be children and adults need to be adults. So this legislation, I think, helps to keep our children safer. And it gives the parents tools so that they can keep their children safe.”

We asked Garcia if she believes the bill will receive any pushback from social media companies.

She replied, “I don’t know if there’s going to be [pushback] but there could be. But you know, I don’t think that any of these social media companies want a 13-year-old to be able to go into a porn site. I don’t think that’s what they would want to be happening. So I think that the social media companies try to always make it safe for the kids so God willing, this will be another example of them trying to keep our children safe.”

Furthermore, Garcia commented on the possible disunity among Democrats concerning the total support of Israel and the Jewish people after the Oct. 7 attacks committed by Hamas.

“Well, I stand with Israel 100%. What happened in Israel was very sad. It was unprovoked. It was murderous, it was [the] heinous of crimes. And so I stand with Israel 100% and I am very sad to see some of my colleagues not stand with Israel because that was the worst kind of attack ever.”

“We share the goal of protecting younger users online, and support previous legislative efforts aimed at online literacy to educate users about the tools, features, settings that are available to protect privacy, tailor online experiences, and avoid scams. Unfortunately despite the well-intentioned goals, Florida’s age verification legislation puts younger users’ privacy at risk as companies would need to collect additional personal data on internet users to comply with the law," stated The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) State Policy Director Khara Boender.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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