Media Contact

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 22, 2024
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2737

February 22, 2024

The bill now heads to the governor for his signature

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Today, the Florida Senate passed House Bill 1 (HB 1), a broad censorship bill aimed at stifling freedom of expression online by requiring all users, including adults, to verify their age by providing age verification documentation before using existing social media accounts or creating new ones. HB 1 prohibits minors under the age of 16 from creating social media accounts on certain platforms and deletes any existing accounts, regardless of whether a minor’s parent consents to their children using such platforms.

The bill also targets social media businesses by imposing penalties on the platforms should they fail to restrict minors’ access. With today's passage, the bill has now passed both chambers and goes to the governor for his signature. 

Kara Gross, legislative director of the ACLU of Florida, responded with the following: 

“HB 1 is a blatant government censorship bill. It is an affront to the constitutional principle of freedom of speech. 

“Banning young people under 16 from having social media accounts even with the consent of their parents shows that the claim of ‘parents’ rights’ of the last two legislative sessions had nothing to do with parental rights and everything to do with government censorship of viewpoints and information the government doesn’t like. 

“Lawmakers shouldn’t be controlling what ideas and information parents can allow their children to access. This is government overreach. 

“The age-verification requirements in HB 1 place barriers between users, whether they’re adults or minors, and their constitutional right to speak online. Age verification requirements also blatantly chill the speech and threaten the privacy of adults by requiring them to surrender their anonymity to engage in constitutionally protected speech.

“The internet, including social media platforms, contains vast amounts of constitutionally protected speech for both adults and minors. Blanket bans infringe upon our constitutional rights. “If our lawmakers truly care about the well-being of our children, they should prioritize expanding Medicaid access to struggling families, passing legislation protecting minors from unsafe labor conditions, increasing school psychologists, ensuring access to affordable housing for families, protecting families with minor children from facing eviction, and not lowering the required age to purchase firearms.

“Instead, they are seeking to pass undemocratic laws that censor speech and seek to silence freedom of expression online. We urge the governor to veto this bill ”