Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Florida Bill Aims to Remove, Stop Children Under 16 From Using Social Media

Governor Sees Possible Legal Issues With Removal Of Parental Choice
“texting” by is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

On January 24, the Florida House of Representatives approved HB1 “Social Media Use for Minors” stating children under 16 years old will not have any access to social media. 

This bill requires social media platforms to prevent minors from creating accounts and aids in terminating accounts. Social media companies will have to use age verification methods, disclose specific policies, and use provided resources, measures, and disclaimers. However, parents will not be  allowed to override this decision. According to a recent CBS Miami news report, bill supporters say children have suffered mental health problems and have become targets for sexual predators, too. House lawmakers believe that it is beneficial to minors, while opposition believes that it’s unfair and should be up to the parents. 

According to CBS Miami, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis commented on the bill during a January 26 visit to Kissimmee, Fla., stating;“I am sympathetic, as a parent, to what is going on with our youth. But I also understand that to just say that someone who is fifteen just cannot have it, no matter what, even if the parent consents; that may create some legal issues.

Most social media platforms allow children who are thirteen years of age to have accounts. HB1 states if any social media platforms violate this bill it could result in as much as a $50,000 fine. 

Valencia College students had some interesting thoughts on HB1.

Shana Gothing, 20, Journalism, said, “I think it’s wild.” Gothing also says she thinks the government is wrong, and it should be the parent’s decision; the government should control the inappropriate things that children access, not take social media all together.

General Studies major Jenna Hernandez, 20, also sees it as a parental rights’ issue. She said, “I don’t see how that’s going to work; it’s a parental choice they hijacked.”  Hernandez questions if the government is going to control where kids go to school now or when they should have a phone. 

Alex Atchisun, 19, History, thinks that it breaks freedom and it limits freedom of speech. She also feels that if she were a parent, she would feel very restricted.

Dual Enrollee Izzy Muessner, 17, Psychology, believes it is not the government’s decision and that parents should decide what’s best for their kids. Muessner can understand why they passed this bill because of bullying. However, Muessner thinks if social media access is monitored, it should be fine. 

Both Atchisun and Muessner mentioned they did not have social media until they were almost fifteen.


Other states have tried to restrict minors going on social media as well. States such as Ohio, Arkansas, California, Texas, Louisana, and Utah also have similar legislation. HB1 has now been passed in the Florida House and making its way through the Senate. 

What are your thoughts on HB1 and restricting social media access for those under 16 years old?

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