Senate panel to hear social media ban championed by Speaker but questioned by Ron DeSantis
FILE - The Facebook logo is seen on a mobile phone, Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston. Social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok and Twitter say they're taking steps to prevent the spread of misinformation about voting and elections ahead of next month's midterm elections. Yet a look at some of the most popular platforms shows baseless claims about election fraud continue to flourish. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

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The Governor wonders if the bill 'will actually stick' if it becomes law.

Monday will offer the first Senate hearing on legislation (SB 1788) banning people under 16 years old from social media.

The Judiciary Committee will hear Sen. Erin Grall’s bill that bans them from creating new accounts, and requires platforms to terminate existing accounts held by those youth.

The bill is similar to HB 1, a priority of House Speaker Paul Renner that has already been voted on and sent to the Senate. Renner’s bill was passed despite legal challenges to similar legislation in Utah and Ohio,

Questions remain in the executive branch about its legality.

“There have been other states that have tried to do similar things that have met resistance in the courts,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said last month. “Not to say courts are always right about this, but anything I do, I want a pathway for this to actually stick.”

Florida’s Attorney General is more sold on the legislation’s viability.

“I think you’re going to see leaders all over the nation that are parents. We all have children. Folks are getting to our children, and adults (who) want to do them harm are getting to our children through social media. Our children are being exposed to inappropriate material; they’re being addicted online. We have to do something to stand up for our kids. I’m proud of the state of Florida, (which) is exploring ways to do that. And I think you’re going to see that all over the nation,” AG Ashley Moody said on Fox News last month.

The Senate bill analysis invites a skeptical read of Grall’s bill, asserting that “requiring social media platforms and their users to use age-verification presents a complex issue that raises several constitutional concerns. The language in the bill may implicate consideration of a number of constitutional protections.” Those include the right to free speech in the First Amendment, the Contracts Clause, and the Supremacy Clause.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


4 comments

  • Nancy Lawther

    February 3, 2024 at 8:59 pm

    The delete all amendment removes much of the bill’s questionable content.

  • JD

    February 4, 2024 at 4:28 am

    This will be unenforceable like everything on the internet. Waste of legislative time, and our tax monies.

    Ask any “Red” Country (kind of funny how the communist countries are also red like Republicans, isn’t it) and howe they get around it.

    Let me introduce the Dunning-Krueger class (in this case our politicians) to a few terms:
    Proxy Server
    VPN

    “It’s not the heat in Florida. It’s the stupidity.”

  • wake up already

    February 4, 2024 at 10:01 am

    Just pass a damn budget and stop pretending to be Nazi, already you in the Legislature

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 4, 2024 at 6:55 pm

    If Social Media is killing kids, the most obvious solution is giving every kid a gun to defend themself with. Duh.

    Consistency.. Not the GOP’s strong point. Hmmm Do they even have a strong point.

Comments are closed.


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