Florida Senate passes bill that would prevent children under 16 from accessing social media

The bill will go back to the state House of Representatives for consideration and approval of the proposed amendments.

The Florida Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would prevent children under 16 from accessing social media. The initiative received the support of 23 legislators, while 14 opposed it. Now, the draft, HB 1, must go back through the House of Representatives to have the proposed amendments approved.

The most important modification, according to UPI, is the updated definition of social media. The change made by the senators ensures that any page that has "addictive features" will be considered a social media site. These features, which can be read in the new draft, include infinite scrolling, autoplay videos and push notifications.

If approved, the measure would require social media sites to terminate any existing account associated with a Florida resident minor under the age of 16. In addition, these users will not be allowed to create any new profiles until they turn 16.

The draft also requires both social media sites and pornographic websites to use anonymous age verification through a third-party service. They would not be able to store users' personal information.

DeSantis claims Florida bill "is not there yet"

While waiting for the House to approve this new bill, the draft was also sent to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who stated that, despite being aware of the bill, which he considers necessary, it "is not there yet." He explained that it may have to go back to the Senate before it is finally passed:

I'm sympathetic to, as a parent, what's going on with our youth. But I also understand that to just say that someone that's 15 just cannot have it no matter what, even if the parent consents, that may create some legal issues.