Florida Legislature Passes Another Social Media Bill Aimed at Protecting Minors

With two days left in this year’s legislative session, Florida lawmakers sent their second attempt at regulating social media to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis.

House Bill 3: Online Protections for Minors was passed by the State Senate on March 6 with a vote of 30–5 after voting in favor of an amendment that essentially transformed the broader bill into a rewritten version of the one Mr. DeSantis vetoed last week. It was sent back to the House of Representatives and was passed to the governor’s office with a vote of 109–4. The original version passed unanimously.

Unlike its vetoed predecessor, HB-1, HB-3 initially did not demand that social media entities identify and terminate any accounts made by children younger than 16, regardless of the parent’s opinion about the account’s existence. It also did not prohibit those minors from being able to create new accounts.

Rather, it broadly targeted companies that digitally distribute and publish content deemed harmful to minors, set requirements for age verification, and set prohibitions on companies’ ability to retain certain data and personal information.

Gov. Ron DeSantis by Gage Skidmore is licensed under flickr Gage Skidmore

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