‘They grow up knowing too much:’ New bill will prohibit minors from creating social media accounts

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida House bill just passed that would require social media platforms to prohibit minors from creating new accounts has a lot of Florida parents saying this is needed for this generation.


According to the bill, it’s for teens 16 and under. Every parent that Action News Jax spoke with said they believe this is a good idea.

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Florida House Bill 1, which according to this bill text, would prohibit a minor who is younger than 16 years of age from having a social media account has now passed through the House.

Jeremy Thomas is a father of four and has a 16-year-old. He said as a parent he tries his best to limit his children from being on social media.

Related Story: Florida House passes a bill to ban social media accounts for children under 16

“They grow up kinda’ knowing too much. They really didn’t enjoy being a kid,” Thomas said. “I try doing that to my kids now. I try to keep them limited on their phones. We do activities that’s why we’re at the park today.”

Thomas said he’s seen certain kids who are on social media too much, and that’s not good.

“I’ve seen kids, their friends, who spend all day just doing that and not experiencing life,” Thomas said.

This legislation would also create a verification requirement for each new account user. According to the bill, if the account holder fails to verify his or her age, the social media platform must deny the account.

Related Story: House, Senate Republicans file bills to ban minors under 16 from having social media accounts

There is no mention in the bill of an “opt out” option for parents, meaning, as its written, all kids younger than 16 cannot be on social media.

The bill would also require the “termination of existing accounts of those younger than 16.” Violations can bring a penalty of up to $50,000.

Ford Archuleta is a young father and has a seven-month-old son. He said he grew up around social media and still uses it, but as a father, he too will be cautious of what his son views and believes this bill is needed in Florida.

“It’s a lot of stuff that kids find out that they shouldn’t through social media,” Archuleta said.

He also said that his biggest fear as a father is his son being introduced to strangers on the internet.

“I don’t want him having, talking to people he doesn’t know,” Archuleta said.

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This bill still has one final hurdle as it’s been sent to the Senate, and a hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet.

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