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Florida Will Fine Social Media Companies That Bar Candidates


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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Florida on Monday became the first state to regulate how companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter moderate speech online, by imposing fines on social media companies that permanently bar political candidates in the state.

Credit: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Florida has become the first state to fine social media companies like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter for banning political candidates from the platforms for more than 14 days.

The fine is $250,000 per day for candidates for state office, and less for candidates seeking other offices.

The law, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, also prohibits social media companies from removing or prioritizing content from a "journalistic enterprise" that reaches a certain size and requires clarity about their decisions to take down content or leave it up, with users allowed to sue the platform for inconsistent application of those terms.

DeSantis said, "If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable."

The law likely will face a constitutional challenge as to whether it violates technology companies' First Amendment rights.

From The New York Times
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