Florida announces its latest crackdown on teenagers using social media 

As the risks of social media are becoming more well-known, an increasing number of governments are taking action to protect kids and teenagers from some of the dangers. Now, Florida is the latest US state to try to address this. 

Florida’s new legislation, known as bill HB 3, prohibits children under the age of 14 from accessing social media platforms. Governor Ron DeSantis has signed this bill into law, imposing stricter regulations on teenage social media usage. Under this law, all existing social media accounts belonging to children under 14 will be deleted.

Additionally, parents of 14 to 15-year-olds will now have increased authority over their children’s social media activities. They must grant explicit permission for their teenagers to use social media platforms, with the ability to revoke this permission at any time. 

The legislation also includes online safety measures, such as mandatory age verification for accessing explicit websites. To protect users’ privacy, websites will use anonymous age verification processes, where third parties verify age information without storing personal data.

Companies that don’t comply with the bill could face fines of up to $50,000 per violation. Furthermore, minors whose accounts remain active after the bill takes effect on January 1, 2025, can pursue legal action against the platform, seeking damages of up to $10,000.

House Speaker Paul Renner noted: “The internet has become a dark alley for our children where predators target them and dangerous social media leads to higher rates of depression, self-harm, and even suicide. Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ signature, Florida leads the way in protecting children online as states across the country fight to address these dangers.” 

While the bill has been signed into law, social media companies are expected to challenge its legality. NetChoice, a trade association representing social media platforms, including Amazon, Google, TikTok, X, Meta, and others, has a history of legal opposition to similar legislation. 

NetChoice previously sued the state of Utah for passing comparable legislation, contending that it infringes upon First Amendment rights. In Florida, before the bill’s enactment, NetChoice urged Governor DeSantis to veto it on grounds of constitutional concerns.

Carl Szabo, NetChoice’s vice president and general counsel said in a statement: “We’re disappointed to see Governor DeSantis sign onto this route. There are better ways to keep Floridians, their families, and their data safe and secure online without violating their freedoms.” 


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