Judge Blocks Florida Law Regulating Social Media Companies


A judge on Wednesday blocked the first Florida law in the country to ban social media companies from blocking political candidates.

Judge Robert L. Hinkle of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, by issuing an injunction, prevented “application of parts of the legislation that predestined or violated the First Amendment” or were covered by other parts of Federal law.

the legislation that signed By Governor Ron DeSantis in May, companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter will impose penalties if they permanently ban candidates in the state.

Republicans like Mr. DeSantis have said such laws are necessary because the platforms are skewed against conservative publishers and personalities, even though many of the most successful accounts on some social media platforms belong to right-wing voices. They were particularly outraged when Facebook and Twitter banned former President Donald J. Trump on January 6, following the Capitol riots.

Two lobbying groups representing Facebook, Google, and other tech giants – NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association – have filed a lawsuit to block the law.

Judge Hinkle agreed to a request to block advance enforcement of the law, saying the tech groups are likely to succeed given the merits of the case.

“The legislation at the moment was an effort to rein in social media providers that were seen as too large and liberal,” he said. “It is not in a legitimate government interest to balance the exchange of ideas between private speakers.”

A spokesperson for Mr. DeSantis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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