DeSantis vetoes social media ban for kids under 16, Florida lawmakers offer new option

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed what would have been one of the most far-reaching social media bans for minors on Friday, and lawmakers are proposing new language that seeks to keep children under under 14 off of addictive platforms.

The bill sent to the governor last week would have banned minors under 16 from popular social media platforms regardless of parental consent. DeSantis had concerns about privacy issues and parental rights, but appears to be on board with a new proposal that would allow 14- and 15-year-olds on social media with parental consent and ban access for younger children.

“The Legislature is about to produce a different, superior bill,” DeSantis said in his veto message. “Protecting children from harms associated with social media is important, as is supporting parents’ rights and maintaining the ability of adults to engage in anonymous speech.”

He said he anticipates signing the new bill, which will go before the Senate on Monday, just days before the legislative session ends March 8.