The Republican-led Florida Legislature Channels Communist China With New Social Media Bill

The Republican-led Florida Legislature Channels Communist China With New Social Media Bill

How do you say parents don't know how to raise their kids in Chinese?

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
February 22, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL— For the past few years, the Republican-led state legislature has passed some very pro-Florida, pro-family legislative measures, but just as members have introduced sound legislative bills for consideration, they have also introduced some dreadful and cringe-worthy measures like the social media ban and defamation bills that all-but channel the oppressive and authoritarian Communist Chinese Party (CCP).

Think about it.

The so-called pro-parental rights legislative body now wants to restrict parents from having a say in what social media platforms their children can or cannot watch. This is straight out of  Xi Jinping's playbook on how to strip away parental rights.

With all that said, it appears as if most of Florida's Democratic Caucus in the state legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis oppose an all-out social media ban for minors, criticizing the bill's lack of parental rights provisions. The bill issues a blanket ban for children under 16 on social media platforms and children under 18 visiting pornography sites.

Sponsored by Republican Sen. Erin Grall, HB 1 requires both social media and pornographic websites to partner with a third-party age verification software. The company must offer an anonymous age verification method, allowing the user to feel more comfortable in divulging personal data. The bill's enforcement technique lies in its financial penalties, granting a minor or a minor's guardian civil damages if they catch the company in violation of the bill.

"We know that U.S. teen girls who had major depression nearly doubled from 2010 to 2020. ER visits due to self-inflicted wounds rose sharply from 2009 to 2019 among 10 to 19-year-old girls," Grall said on the Senate Floor Wednesday. "Study after study relates the increases in the number of hours per day spent on electronic devices and addictive social media platforms to these results,"

"Social media platforms are creating a lot of depression and anxiety problems, and we all acknowledge that's there, so the question is: What is the solution?"

Republican Sen. Blaise Ingoglia spoke to The Floridian on this issue, explaining his concerns over the bill.

"I don't think that's taking away social media from kids under 16. I think the answer is empowering parents. I think we should give parents the tools to solve this problem," said Sen. Ingoglia.

"I have serious concerns with HB 1 from a constitutional perspective, and from a perspective of not being consistent when we say we want to empower parents," he added.

Sen. Ingoglia turned to the pornography portion of the bill, which bans children under 18 from visiting these sites. The porn site is responsible for providing age-verification software to determine the age of each website user.

Like Ingoglia, many Republican state and federal lawmakers have panned HB 1 and have sided with parental rights, including Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott.

"I have some serious concerns. My concern is that you have a third party housing information and verifying the information for who wants to access pornography, and what happens if that information is hacked?"  Ingoglia concluded.

Sen. Lauren Book (D) also took issue with Grall's measure and echoed what Republicans have been arguing. What happened to parental rights?

“I know what sexual abuse material is and I know how bad that is. I also know very personally what it is to have a family member who is a self-mutilator because of social media platforms,” the Davie Democrat said. “But that’s not getting to the root and crux of the question, which is one of parental rights. Is it not my right to play YouTube Kids for my children?”

Not only is there significant bipartisan opposition to Grall's bill,  but some of the most conservative grassroots organizations, Mom's for Liberty, have also come out against the bill.

“I add Moms for Liberty, we believe every parent has the fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their child,?" said Mom's for Liberty's Tiffany Justice. “Hopefully you have some legislators that are listening, who will possibly amend this bill (HB 1).”

The question no one is asking is, how are they going to enforce the bill, if it becomes law.

As of right now, there is fat chance DeSantis signs the current bill into law.

Why wouldn't he?

DeSantis is Mr. Parental Rights, and signing off on a bill like this would not only but himself at odds over his past position to leave parenting to parents, but it would be politically disastrous.

Liv Caputo contributed to this story

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and 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

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