Judge blocks Florida law aimed at punishing social media
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday blocked for the time being a new Florida law that sought to punish large social media businesses like Facebook and Twitter if they remove content or ban politicians.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle granted a preliminary injunction stopping the new law from being enforced. The law — which was supposed to take effect on Thursday — enabled the state to fine large social media companies $250,000 a day if they remove an account of a statewide political candidate, and $25,000 a day if they remove an account of someone running for a local office.
Parts of the new legislation violate federal law, said the judge in Tallahassee.
It was aimed at only large social media businesses, not smaller ones that provide the same services, and made exceptions for Disney and their apps by including that theme park owners wouldn’t be subject to the law. Walt Disney World outside Orlando is one of the state’s largest private employers.
“The legislation compels providers to host speech that violates their standards—speech they otherwise would not host—and forbids providers from speaking as they otherwise would,” Hinkle wrote.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office didn’t immediately have comment.
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