Media Contact

CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2737

March 26, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Yesterday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 3 (HB 3) into law. HB 3 is a broad censorship law that stifles the 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.

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

“HB 3 is a government censorship law aimed at ensuring that youth do not have access to information and resources that the governor does not want them to access.

“HB 3 raises significant constitutional concerns because it intrudes on the free speech rights of adults and minors. The internet, including social media platforms, contains vast amounts of constitutionally protected speech for both adults and minors. This government censorship law places unnecessary barriers between adult users and their constitutional right to speak online.

“Requiring proof of age from all users will chill the speech of adults and threaten their privacy by requiring them to surrender their anonymity to engage in constitutionally protected speech.

“The new law also prohibits minors under the age of 14 from having social media accounts even with the consent of their parents. This is a complete disregard for parental rights. The government shouldn’t be controlling what ideas and information parents can allow their children to access.

“This law is not narrowly tailored to achieve the stated interest of protecting youth from harm. If our lawmakers truly cared about the well-being of our children, they would be prioritizing expanding Medicaid access to struggling families, increasing school psychologists, ensuring access to affordable housing for families, and protecting families with minor children from facing eviction.

“These are real harms that Florida’s youth face every day. Instead of passing legislation increasing youth access to healthcare, shelter, and food, the legislature has passed and the governor has signed into law HB 3, prohibiting youth under 14 from accessing online information that their own parents would like them to access.

“The last thing that our state needs is more censorship. It raises serious constitutional concerns and is unnecessary. The governor has officially furthered the reach of government censorship to online platforms.”