a federal judge blocked a law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that allowed the issuance of fines against social media companies that decide to censor politicians and expel them from their platforms.
DeSantis’ initiative is part of a series of measures against Big Tech in the face of the constant censorship that social networks such as Twitter and Facebook undertook against Republican and Conservative leaders.
Federal Judge Robert Hinkle issued a preliminary injunction to prevent the law from taking effect on Thursday, July 1.
The measure comes in response to a lawsuit technology trade groups filed against the state after the governor signed the bill, which set fines of $250,000 a day for banning state politicians from their platforms, and $25,000 a day for censoring activists and others.
NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) sued the state saying the law violates the First Amendment and free speech.
“Instead of preventing what it calls ‘censorship,’ the Act does the exact opposite: it empowers Florida government officials to surveil the protected editorial judgment of online businesses of which the state disapproves and whose perceived political views it wishes to punish,” the companies’ complaint cites.
The bill passed through the state legislature and was triggered after social media platforms censored former President Trump. DeSantis defended the bill and said it is being used to blame Big Tech.
“These platforms have changed from neutral platforms that provided Americans with the freedom to speak to enforcers of preferred narratives,” DeSantis said during a press conference.
The Florida governor called Big Tech a group of “monopoly communications platforms” that have the ability to regulate public discourse in their favor.
It should be remembered that big companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple decided to censor former President Trump and his allies after the violent assault on the Capitol, before this, millions of users migrated to Parler in order to circumvent censorship; however, an apparent scared Big Tech took Parler out of the game by cutting off the web services offered by Amazon.