Florida’s governor has signed a bill into law aimed at fining social media companies that de-platform politicians
Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican Party politician with ties to former president Donald Trump, says that the new legislation will help defend conservatives voices from being de-platformed unfairly.
The Florida bill essentially bans the likes of Twitter and Facebook from suspending or banning political candidates Florida. They face possible fines of $250,000 per day if the de-platformed candidate is running for statewide office. They face $25,000 per day if the candidate is running for a non-statewide office.
Florida lays down the law
According to a report on CNN, the legislation also gives Florida residents the ability to sue tech companies for de-platforming. The report quotes the Computer and Communications Industry Association, a tech trade group, as saying tech platforms could face the threat of litigation by “any internet user, from foreign extremists to disgruntled internet trolls.”
Don’t expect big tech to take this lying down. Expect instead a barrage of legal challenge that centre on that most favourite of all amendments in the US constitution, Freedom Of Speech.
“The First Amendment to the United States Constitution makes it abundantly clear that states have no power to compel private companies to host speech, especially from politicians,” Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden told CNN.