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Florida Bill Would Fine Social Media Companies For Banning Politicians

A bill recently passed by the Florida legislature would assess fines as high as $250,000 against social media companies that ban politicians from their platforms.

The bill — widely seen as a rebuke to tech companies that blacklisted then-President Donald Trump from their servers in the waning days of his administration this year — was passed earlier this week by the Florida House and Senate. It is expected to be signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The legislation directs that social media platforms “may not willfully de-platform a candidate for office who is known by the social media platform to be a candidate, beginning on the date of qualification and ending on the date of the election or the date the candidate ceases to be a candidate.

The legislation allows platforms to suspend accounts, but only for 14 days, and could fine the platforms as much as $250,000 per day for violating the law.

Although the bill was passed in the state’s House and Senate on Thursday, it’s likely tech companies will challenge it in court – saying the bill violates American’s First Amendment rights.

The bill includes a clause that exempts a company “that owns and operates a theme park or entertainment complex”, allowing Disney to be exempt from this bill.

Florida is home to the Disney World theme park.

 

 

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