Senate eyes social media crackdown

applications social media
The Senate bill would fine social-media companies that de-platform political candidates.

The Florida Senate is scheduled Thursday to consider a bill that would crack down on social-media companies, while the House version awaits action.

The Senate proposal (SB 7072), spearheaded by Estero Republican Sen. Ray Rodrigues is on a list of bills slated to be heard on the Senate floor Thursday. The proposal, a priority of Gov. Ron DeSantis, was approved Monday by the Senate Appropriations Committee in a 10-9 vote.

The House had been scheduled Tuesday to consider its version (HB 7013), sponsored by Spring Hill Republican Rep. Blaise Ingoglia but postponed it.

The Senate bill would bar 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.

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

DeSantis 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. But critics have questioned the constitutionality of attempts to place restrictions on the companies.


Republished with permission from the News Service of Florida

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