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Florida passes social media bill that would punish companies for banning politicians

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is anticipated to approve laws backed by state Republican lawmakers this week that would penalize social media companies for banning politicians from their platforms.

Under the laws, social media platforms would face fines of $250,000 per day for banning a Florida political candidate and $25,000 for different candidates. Platforms would even be required to publish requirements on when customers may face bans and to supply seven days of discover to candidates who face a possible suspension.

“This bill is not about President Trump,” Republican Florida Rep. John Snyder stated, in line with the Sun-Sentinel. “This bill is about the 22 million Floridians and their First Amendment rights.”

The bill, SB 7072, applies to companies with greater than 100 million month-to-month customers – a regular that would have an effect on Facebook and Twitter. Republicans, together with DeSantis, have lengthy accused social media platforms of making an attempt to silence conservative voices.

Criticism of distinguished social media platforms intensified after a number of companies opted to completely ban Donald Trump’s accounts following the Jan. 6 riot on the Capitol. Trump has but to return to social media.

The GOP-controlled Florida Senate authorised the bill in a 23-17 vote. The state’s House voted 77-37 to approve the bill.

The laws drew widespread criticism from state Democratic lawmakers who argued the bill was a politically motivated response to Trump’s ban. Democrats additionally questioned language included in a ultimate model of the bill that successfully exempted Disney-owned apps by noting that theme park operators weren’t topic to the foundations.

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Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani stated the exemption for Disney was “comical.”

“This exemption for companies that own theme parks is an example of the loophole in this bill,” Eskamani stated. “This bill is really political in nature. It’s not about trying to impact the concerns of deplatforming. Now it’s catering to a specific company.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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