A new law in Florida will fine social media companies that permanently bar political candidates in the state, which is a direct response to Facebook’s and Twitter’s suspensions of former US President Donald J Trump.

Iran PressSci & Tech: 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.

The law, signed by Gov Ron DeSantis, is a direct response to Facebook’s and Twitter’s bans of former President Donald J. Trump in January. In addition to the fines for barring candidates, it makes it illegal to prevent some news outlets from posting to their platforms in response to the contents of their stories, The New York Times reported.

DeSantis said signing the bill, which is likely to face a constitutional challenge, meant that Floridians would be “guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley elites.”

“If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable,” he said in a statement.

The bill is part of a broader push among conservative state legislatures to crack down on the ability of tech companies to manage posts on their platforms. The political efforts took off after Trump was barred after the Jan 6 attack on the Capitol. 

More than a hundred bills targeting the companies’ moderation practices have been filed nationwide this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many of the bills have died, but a proposal is still being debated in Texas.


Read More:

Twitter, Facebook block Trump 

Twitter says Trump ban is permanent, even if he runs in 2024

Trump tweets ‘WE WILL WIN,’ refusing to concede