Florida legislates to penalize social networks
Standing next to a lecturer with the slogan “Stop censoring social media,” Florida Republican Gov. Ron Desandis approved a law Monday that seeks to allow sites to remove conservative comments from their sites.
The new law allows large social media companies to be fined $ 250,000 a day for deleting the account of a political candidate at the state level and $ 25,000 a day for deleting the account of someone running locally. The law comes into force on July 1.
Desantis denounced deleting accounts because social networks do not agree with the content. Republicans have accused companies such as Twitter and Facebook of censoring conservative views. Desandis specifically mentioned when they deleted the Twitter account of then-President Donald Trump, but not the account of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“When you take the president of the United States off the podium, but when you allow Ayatollah Khamenei to talk about killing Jews, it’s wrong,” D’Santis said with a thunderous shout at the signing ceremony at the Florida International University in Miami.
The law would give the Florida Attorney General the public power to sue businesses under the Fraud and Unfair Business Practices Act. It will also allow social media companies to sue if they feel they have been treated unfairly.
The law targets social media, which includes more than 100 million users a month, including digital giants such as Twitter and Facebook. However, lawmakers made an exception for Disney and its applications, noting that theme park owners would not be subject to the law.
Democrats opposed the law and defended the right of social media companies, as private companies, to control the flow of information on their sites.