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Saturday, March 2, 2024
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House to Move Quickly on Social Media Limits

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The House will start moving quickly on bills that would try to prevent children from having social-media accounts and seek to prevent people under 18 from having access to “material harmful to minors” on websites and apps. The House Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee will take up the bills, which are priorities of House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast. The bills were filed late Friday. One of the measures (HB 1), sponsored by Rep. Tyler Sirois, R-Merritt Island, and Rep. Fiona McFarland, R-Sarasota, would require social-media platforms to bar minors under 16 from creating social-media accounts and use “reasonable age verification” methods to check the ages of people when accounts are created. It would require platforms to use independent organizations to conduct age verifications and would require denial of accounts for people who do not verify their ages. Also, it 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. The other bill (HB 3), sponsored by Rep. Chase Tramont, R-Port Orange, would require age verification to try to prevent people under age 18 from having access to online content such as pornography.

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