Florida Parents Overwhelmingly Oppose Social Media ban for Teenagers

Florida Parents Overwhelmingly Oppose Social Media ban for Teenagers

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
February 15, 2024

The controversial legislative measure that passed in the Florida House of Representatives that calls for an all-out Social Media ban for children under the age of 16, and is now being taken up in the Florida Senate, could be dead on arrival as a new poll shows that the overwhelming majority of parents in Florida oppose forfeiting their parental rights to the state government.

While Governor Ron DeSantis has expressed his concern over the adverse effects social media has had on children, he cautioned that the not-so-parental-rights-friendly bill could face legal challenges.

"I think social media has been a net negative for our youth without question," DeSantis said in a press conference last week. "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."

Now, Gov. DeSantis’s very own political pollster Ryan Tyson was commissioned by the Citizens Awareness Project to poll the issue.

According to a memo The Floridian received regarding the findings of The Tyson Group’s public opinion poll, 79% of 977 general election voters in Florida, “believe parents should be able to choose if their teenagers can use social media platforms.”

To add more salt to the wound, 80% of parents polls believe that the government should not have the right to make this decision, only parents should decide whether teens can have access to social media platforms or apps.

It gets worse for the lobby pushing the measure and both Republican and Democratic lawmakers who appear to be moving away from their staunch parental rights position.

Only 20% of parents in Florida support HB 1, and Floridians are more concerned with inflation, the cost of living, and the overall economy than the use of social media by children.

Of those polled, 39% were Republican, 33% Democrat, and 28% were Independent voters.

Rep. Erin Grall
Sen. Erin Grall

"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 have an obligation to set some parameters," the Senate bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Erin Grall, said .

She referenced how the government has intervened in gambling, alcohol, and tobacco, stating: "This is us stepping in and saying this is beyond any one family and anyone parent-child relationship."

"This is something [where] the magnitude has reached such a level that we have to step in as a government," added Sen. Grall.

Earlier this month, The Floridian was able to catch up with Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, and Utah Senator Mike Lee, who all expressed their support for parents being able to  address every aspect of their children’s life.

“I think those entities (Social Media companies) should make their product amenable to parental controls. That’s the best way to handle it and I prefer to have industry do that, understanding that if they don’t, there’s a risk they are going to start seeing state intervention,” said Senator Lee.

Senator Rubio, who said that he had not been able to read into the Social Media ban measure being considered in the Florida Legislature, believes the parents should be empowered to make decisions for their children.

“I strongly hope parents can have more tools about monitoring and controlling what young children can see on social media, but in the end, it is about empowering parents to make those decisions,” said Sen. Rubio.

Senator Scott, who is running for reelection to the Senate this cycle, echoed what Sens. Rubio and Lee said, saying that “parental consent” was paramount to addressing the social media exposure to children.

“You have to get parental consent. All of the social media stuff, we ought to focus on parental consent,” added Sen. Scott.

This is not a good election year issue to run on.

Here is the memo:

Citizens Awareness Project

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of Floridianpress.com, Hispolitica.com, shark-tank.com, and Texaspolitics.com He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at Diversenewmedia@gmail.com

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