DeSantis to Veto Republican-Led Social Media Ban for Kids

DeSantis to Veto Republican-Led Social Media Ban for Kids

Sen. President Passidomo told reporters that DeSantis will veto a social media ban for minors

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
February 29, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Senate President Kathleen Passidomo told reporters that she believes Gov. DeSantis will veto Republicans' highly controversial social media ban for minors, and the Legislature will instead craft new language that the Governor agrees to.

HB 1, sponsored by Republican Rep. Tyler Sirois and Republican Sen. Erin Grall, was passed by the Florida Legislature last week. The bill bans children under 16 on social media, without allowing parental discretion over their children's online activities.

Sen. Passidomo, a Republican, told reporters Thursday that the Legislature will send another bill to DeSantis with more "palatable" language. This language will be added to HB 3, a bill banning minors from viewing pornographic websites. HB 3 has not been seen in weeks, as its provisions were combined into the anti-social media bill.

"My understanding is that they are in a really good spot," she said, referring to Gov. DeSantis—an opponent of HB 1—and Republican House Speaker Paul Renner—a lead supporter of HB 1.

Passidomo explained that the two conservative leaders have allegedly reached a compromise in HB 3, which the Legislature must quickly pass before next week—the last week of Session—if they hope to pass social media restrictions.

As the social media bill moved through the legislative chambers, Gov. DeSantis spoke out against the measure, saying "Parents need to have a role" in their children's ability to be on social media. Despite his opposition, the bill passed both the House and Senate, leading to outcries on both sides about a lack of parental rights in the measure.

“Parents have fundamental rights to direct the upbringing of their children,” Tiffany Justice, of the conservative Moms for Liberty, said in an interview on the bill. “You’re not allowed to abuse your children. But should the government be controlling whether or not your kids use social media?”

"I don't want the government to be telling me how and what my children should be doing—that's my job as a parent," Democratic Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book said in a Committee stop for the bill.

Proponents of the bill claim that social media use is highly correlated with increased depression and suicide rates among the nation's children, insisting the answer is to remove these platforms from the hands of children.

"If we as a government have identified this harm that is beyond the magnitude of any one person to really get in the middle of and control, then we must set some parameters," the bill's sponsor, Sen. Grall, said in Committee. "This is us stepping in and saying this is beyond any one family and anyone parent-child relationship,"


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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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