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Social media ban for minors less restrictive in second attempt by Florida lawmakers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Less than a week after Republican Gov Ron DeSantis vetoed a ban on social media for minors, Florida lawmakers sent him a new version on Wednesday that is expected to withstand his criticism.

The House of Representatives passed the bill on a 109-4 vote, completing Republican Speaker Paul Renner’s top priority for the 60-day session that ends Friday. The bill bans social media accounts for children under 14 and requires parental consent for 15- and 16-year-olds.

DeSantis on Friday vetoed what would have been one of the most sweeping social media bans on minors in the country, but told lawmakers he supported the bill’s concept and was working with Renner on new language.

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The original bill would have banned minors under the age of 16 from popular social media platforms, regardless of parental consent.

Several states have considered similar legislation. In Arkansas, a federal judge in August blocked enforcement of a law that required parental consent for minors to create new social media accounts.

Advocates in Florida hope the bill will withstand legal challenges because it would ban social media formats that rely on addictive features like notification alerts and autoplay videos, rather than their content.

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