A federal appeals court has struck down Florida’s anti-censorship social media law after arguing the law’s content moderation restrictions violate the First Amendment.
The Washington Examiner reports:
“It is substantially likely that social-media companies — even the biggest ones — are ‘private actors’ whose rights the First Amendment protects,” the 11th Circuit wrote in its decision.
The Florida law had been paused in court after opposition from a group of tech industry, civil society, and libertarian organizations, which argued that it harms consumers by stopping online providers from creating healthy online communities, restricts Floridians’ expression, and puts domestic violence and cyberstalking victims at risk of serious harm.
The law was originally intended to make it illegal to ban state political candidates from Facebook and Twitter, and it would impose penalties of $250,000 a day on social media companies for any statewide candidate removed from a platform. De-platforming more local candidates would incur a fee of $25,000 a day.
The law also forced social media giants to give users seven days’ notice before they are likely to be banned in order to give them a chance to change their behavior and resolve the problem on the platform.
The Texas law is currently being considered by the Supreme Court and is largely seen as guide for the future of content moderation on social media.