On Wednesday, a federal judge blocked a recently enacted law in Florida that was designed to authorize the state to impose penalties on social media companies when they ban political candidates. The judge said the law may violate the right to freedom of speech.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle of Tallahassee issued a preliminary injunction to prevent the implementation of the law, which is set to take effect on Thursday.
In an order submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, the judge said: “This order preliminarily prohibits the enforcement of some of the legislation that is prioritized or violates the First Amendment.”
Hinkel wrote: “The plaintiffs are likely to win the case on the grounds that they claim that these regulations violate the First Amendment.” The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizens the right to freedom of speech.
In May of this year, two technology trading groups filed a lawsuit against Florida over the new law.
The lawsuit alleges that the bill signed in May by Florida Governor and Republican Ron DeSantis is unconstitutional. It was submitted by the Internet lobby group NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA). Members of these groups include Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet’s Google.
Florida will become the first state to regulate how social media companies regulate online speech. The new law will make it easier for the Florida Attorney General and others in the state to sue technology companies because these companies claim that platforms unfairly or inconsistently impose content reviews on users.
The law was criticized by Internet legal experts as unconstitutional and replaced by Article 230, a federal law that protects online companies from liability for content posted by users.
Former President Donald Trump is also a Republican. After some of his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, these platforms banned or suspended him because of the risk of further violence. He was arrested on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. shield. The ban added to Republicans’ long-standing accusations that online platforms censor content for anti-conservative bias.
© Thomson Reuters 2021