DeSantis Bans Social Media for Kids Under 14

Law Takes Effect in 2025


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill banning minors under 14 from joining social media sites in the state starting on January 1st, 2025. Furthermore, the law stipulates that kids ages 14 and 15 will need to obtain parental permission in order to join.

HB-3, also known as the Online Protections for Minors Act, is the second attempt by the state legislature this year to enact a ban on kids joining social media. The original plan would've banned all minors under 16 from using social media, and was championed by leading Republicans such as Florida House Speaker Paul Renner. DeSantis vetoed that bill, saying it clashed with parental rights.

“Social media harms children in a variety of ways,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement. “HB 3 gives parents a greater ability to protect their children." It was known at the time of DeSantis' initial veto that the legislature would convene and write new legislation addressing some of DeSantis' concerns.

This version allows a path to usage for kids as young as 14, but still mandates that social media platforms verify users' age and delete violators' accounts within a short time frame of discovering them. Failure to do so could result in a $50,000 fine to the platform. It also requires age verification for pornographic or otherwise sexually explicit websites.

"None of us can afford to be on the sidelines when it comes to social media," Renner said at the bill's signing on Monday. The initiative will likely be one of the last major policies pushed through before Renner's speakership ends after he's term-limited out of office by this year's elections.