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On March 25, 2024, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill prohibiting minors under the age of 14 from having accounts on social media platforms. The bill, known as House Bill 3 (“HB 3” or the “Bill”), comes after courts temporarily blocked similar legislation in Arkansas, California and Ohio, and officials in Utah announced that the state is “likely to repeal and replace” a comparable law that is currently subject to a lawsuit launched by an industry group.

HB 3 prohibits social media companies from allowing Florida children younger than 14 from creating an account on their platforms. The Bill also requires social media companies to delete the existing accounts of users who are younger than 14 or who the company believes are likely younger than 14, and to comply with requests made by the minor account holder, or a verified parent or guardian, to delete a minor’s account. Finally, the Bill requires minors who are 14 or 15 to obtain parental consent before joining a social media platform. Social media platforms are similarly required to terminate the accounts of users who are (or are likely) 14 and 15 for targeted content or advertising unless parental consent is obtained, and to honor deletion requests.

Companies that fail to comply with HB 3 may be subject to a civil penalty of up to $50,000 per violation, or up to $10,000 in damages in a civil suit brought on behalf of the minor account holder.

The Bill defines social media platforms as online forums, websites or applications with the following attributes: (1) the platform allows users to upload content or view the content or activity of other users; (2) at least 10% of daily active users who are under 16 spend on average two hours or more using the platform every day; (3) the platform employs algorithms to select content for users; and (4) the platform has certain addictive features, such as infinite scrolling or push notifications. The law exempts platforms that offer services limited to email or direct messaging. HB 3 is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2025.