Mar 25, 2024 - Politics

Florida Gov. DeSantis signs social media limits into law

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference on March 20  in Miami Beach.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference on March 20 in Miami Beach. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a measure into law Monday that limits social media access for users younger than 16.

Why it matters: Florida joins Arkansas, Ohio and other states in restricting children's access to social media, setting the stage for a court battle over the law's enforcement.

  • It takes effect July 1.

Zoom in: DeSantis said he "worked hard" with the state Legislature to make the law "something that actually sticks."

  • The law bars kids younger than 13 from using certain social media platforms and requires parental consent for 14- and 15-year-olds.
  • It also bans minors from "pornographic or sexually explicit" websites. Access will require age verification, such as facial scans or showing ID.
  • The law is not clear about which platforms the restrictions apply to.

Reality check: Social media companies are expected to file a lawsuit against Florida to prevent the law from taking effect.

  • Federal judges have blocked laws in Montana, Arkansas and other states that tried to limit children's social media use.

The big picture: Lawmakers blasted social media as "digital fentanyl" at Monday's presser, blaming it for a teen mental health crisis.

  • In study after study, teens say social media is making them stressed and depressed, but the time they're spending online keeps rising.

What they're saying: "Social media harms children," DeSantis said on Monday. "HB 3 gives parents a greater ability to protect" them.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Tampa Bay.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Tampa Bay stories

No stories could be found

Tampa Baypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Tampa Bay.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more