Social Media Icons (File)

Under 16 In Florida? Your Social Media Accounts Could Be Removed

Social Media Icons (File)
Social Media Icons (File)

In a priority of Speaker Paul Renner, the Florida House on Tuesday will take up a bill preventing minors under age 16 from creating social media accounts.

The bill, in part, also would require social media platforms to terminate existing accounts that are “reasonably known” by the platforms to be held by minors younger than 16 and would allow parents to request that minors’ accounts be terminated.

Renner and other supporters of the bill (HB 1), sponsored by Rep. Tyler Sirois, R-Merritt Island, and Rep. Fiona McFarland, R-Sarasota, contend that social media harms such things as children’s mental health.

Read: 16-Year-Old Arrested For Threatening Shooting At Wharton High School On Social Media

But Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, and NetChoice, a tech-industry group, have argued the bill could be unconstitutional and create data-privacy concerns.

During a floor session Tuesday, the House also will take up a bill (HB 3), sponsored by Rep. Chase Tramont, R-Port Orange, and Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-Palm City, that would require age verification to try to prevent people under age 18 from having access to such things as pornography on websites and apps.

The bill, also a priority of Renner, would set a series of standards for determining whether online material would be harmful, such as whether it “appeals to the prurient interest” and “lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.”

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