A federal judge has put Florida’s “unplatform” law on hold, citing the First Amendment.


A federal judge withheld Florida’s first law on Wednesday, allowing the state to impose penalties on social media companies in banning political candidates. This is a win for social media companies to maintain control of their platform.

Published by Judge Robert Hinkle of the US District Court Preliminary injunction Block the enforcement of the law that was scheduled to come into force on Thursday.

According to Hinkle, the legal ban on “unplatforming” violates the freedom of speech of tech companies who are free to decide what to publish under the First Amendment to the United States without government intervention. There is a high possibility that it is.

“The law forces providers to host speeches that violate their standards — speeches they wouldn’t otherwise host — and prohibits providers from telling them to do so,” he said. Wrote.

Mentioning the broader scope of the law, he added: “Like the restrictions of the previous First Amendment, this is an example of burning a house to bake pigs.”

The· law The platform states that office candidates cannot be “totally removed or banned.” The law allows a maximum of 14 days of suspension, and the service may remove individual posts that violate our Terms of Service.

The State Election Commission fines social media companies $ 250,000 a day for state-wide candidates and $ 25,000 a day for other candidates if a company is found to be in violation of the law. There is a possibility. Individuals can also sue.

Republican-led legislature in Florida Passed the law this year Partly in response to a social media ban on former President Donald Trump after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. Technology companies such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube Trump broke their rules, Including promoting violence.

But the law is also the latest episode of a long-standing battle between social media platforms and Republican politicians. Republican Governor Ron DeSantis said when he signed the law in May, it was “protection against the Silicon Valley elite” for “real Floridians.”

Hinkle said DeSantis and other statements indicate that the law is “perspective” discrimination.

“The law in question right now was an effort to curb social media providers that are considered too big and too liberal,” he wrote. However, he said, “balancing the exchange of views between private speakers is not in the legitimate interests of the government, and apart from the actual motives of this law, it is clearly content-based. It is subject to rigorous scrutiny. “

The judge also questioned why the law discriminates against social media providers who do not have common ownership with theme parks.In favor of Disney, companies Exclusion From the law if they operate a “theme park or entertainment facility”.

Hinkle’s decision is Trade associations in two technology industries, NetChoice and Computer & Communications Industry Association. Members include Alphabet, the parent company of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Alphabet also owns Google.

“We can’t stand laziness as Florida lawmakers push unconstitutional bills into the bill and bring it closer to state media and the state Internet,” NetChoice Vice President Karl Sabo said in May. Stated.

Texas legislators considered a similar bill during this year’s session, Did not pass..

And in April, Conservative Supreme Court judge Clarence Thomas wrote to lawmakers: There may be a solid foundation To regulate content moderation decisions for tech companies.

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