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Senator Erin Grall Statement on Legislature’s Final Passage of Social Media Age Verification Legislation

FLORIDA, February 23 - Tallahassee —

With the Legislature’s final passage of House Bill 1, regarding social media use for minors, Senator Erin Grall (R-Vero Beach) released the following statement. The legislation targets platforms that employ algorithms combined with deceptive design features, like infinite-scrolling and auto-play, that are intentionally designed and used by social media platforms to hook kids and keep them on platforms for excessive amounts of time.

“This meaningful legislation will go a long way toward protecting our children from addictive and harmful social media platforms, and I am proud of the work we have accomplished as a legislative body to shield one of our most vulnerable populations from such powerfully addictive products.

“The compulsive use of social media has a detrimental impact on children’s mental health, well-being, and development, one that our state and every state across the country is seeing and experiencing.

“These platforms have been deliberately designed to hold users’ attention for as long as possible and take advantage of vulnerabilities, such as a child’s desire for validation or their fear of rejection. They also harvest data on all users, including minors, for the purpose of causing further addiction. This commoditization of children preys on their age and exposes them to the worst kind of predators and harms.

“In fact, the power of the industry is so strong that they can work around parents, regardless of any boundaries that parents personally place on their children’s use of social media.

“This barrier in state law that will prevent social media companies from intentionally taking advantage of children is desperately needed, and I am honored to have been the champion of this legislation in the Senate.”

 

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