Social Media Crackdown Emerges In Florida Senate

Apr 5, 2021

The Florida Senate is poised to start moving forward with a proposal designed to crack down on social-media companies that block users from their platforms, a priority of Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee is scheduled Tuesday to take up a proposal (SPB 7072) that includes barring social-media companies from removing political candidates from the companies’ platforms.

Companies that violate the prohibition could face fines of $100,000 a day for statewide candidates and $10,000 a day for other candidates, under the bill.

The proposal also would require social-media companies to publish standards about issues such as blocking users and apply the standards consistently.

DeSantis and other Republican leaders have made the issue a priority after decisions by Twitter and Facebook to block former President Donald Trump from their platforms in January after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to prevent certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.

The state House began moving forward last month with a bill (HB 7013) that is similar to the Senate measure. The House bill will be heard Tuesday by the Judiciary Committee and then would be ready to go to the full House.