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Friday, December 9, 2022

Restrictive Florida Social Media Law Blocked By US Court

The 11 circuit appeals court in the US ruled that most of the controversial Florida Social Media law that seeks to halt social media corporations from restricting controversial political speech and removing political candidates from the platforms cannot be applied. The court agreed with the rulings of the lower court.

However, the 3-judge court panel revived a fragment of the Florida Social Media law. It requires the parent companies of sites like Google and Facebook to reveal the standards applied to moderate or restrict content and individuals on their platforms. Circuit Judge Kevin Newsom authored the unanimous conclusion. Judge Newsom is a Trump appointee.

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The court ruled that certain parts of the Florida Social Media law concerning political speeches violated the First Amendment right of the social media platforms as it impinged on their decision on what they can publish. But he also said that they would be required to divulge their standards as it was not a violation of their rights and ordered the lower court to reassess its stance.

Restrictive Florida Social Media Law Comes After Don’t Say Gay Law

Republican Governor DeSantis earlier caused controversy with his Don’t Say Gay law that restricts schools from educating students on gender identity and sexual orientation. His spokesman has said that the Governor is considering appealing against the ruling on the Florida Social Media Law. He found it ‘stupefying’, considering that Judge Newsom was a Republican appointee.

The Governor has maintained that the Florida Social Media law was necessary to prevent ‘Big Tech’ from imposing ‘censorship’ on people. He referred to Trump’s ouster from the platform, a particularly infuriating issue for Republicans.

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The social media platforms have referred to Trump using Facebook and Twitter to mount the infamous attack on January 16, 2021, on the US Capitol after his loss in the presidential elections in 2020.

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