Trade groups representing Facebook, Twitter and Google have sued Florida over a new state law governing social media that Gov. Ron DeSantis claims will protect free speech.
The legislation, which DeSantis signed on Monday and is slated to take effect July 1, would allow the Florida Election Commission to fine social-media companies $250,000 per day if they “de-platform” candidates running for statewide office and $25,000 for candidates running for local office. It also prevents them from banning any “journalistic enterprise doing business in Florida.”
DeSantis first came up with the idea in January after Twitter and Facebook banned then-President Donald Trump for inciting violence and spreading conspiracy theories about his election loss to President Joe Biden, which they cited as violations of their terms of service, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Tech trade groups NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association — which also represent Amazon, PayPal, TikTok, Airbnb and a slate of other firms — paint the law as violation of their First Amendment rights and a step toward a dystopian, government-controlled internet.
“We cannot stand idly by as Florida’s lawmakers push unconstitutional bills into law that bring us closer to state-run media and a state-run internet,” said