Florida Passes DeSanctimonious Age Verification Bill

This week, the Florida legislature passed a new age verification bill that includes provisions for adult websites. Not sure if that includes “online adult magazines” but Gov. Ron DeSanctimonious called the bill “superior” to the one he vetoed days earlier. The State Senate passed HB 3 on Monday, it was approved by the House on Wednesday, and now it sits on the Governor’s desk waiting to be signed.

The bill, in part, prevents children under the age of 16 from opening social media accounts, though it does allow parents to give consent to 14- and 15-year-olds to open accounts. Children under 14, however, cannot open accounts.

The bill also requires adult websites to implement age verification in order to prevent anyone under 18 from accessing them, which we thought was already a thing. But whatever, at SCREW we agree wholeheartedly with keeping kids off social media and away from adult content. We have yet to review it, but so long as it doesn’t tread on what we do, it sounds simple enough. Perhaps too simple. What’s the catch?

Florida-based First Amendment expert Lawrence Walters, of Walters Law Group, however, wrote on behalf of his client, Woodhull Freedom Foundation, that the age verification requirements were “not only unconstitutional and a danger to consumer privacy, but ineffective at preventing minors from accessing adult content.”

That said, maybe we should all figure out, and agree on, a real-life standard for age verification and then perhaps born-agains and porn-agains can live in harmony for once. (As if.)


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