A federal judge will hear arguments June 28 about whether to issue a preliminary injunction against a new law that Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed to crack down on large social-media companies.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle will hold the hearing just days before the law is scheduled to take effect July 1. NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which are online-industry groups, filed a motion last week seeing an injunction and requesting “expedited consideration.”
They contend the law, passed by the Legislature in April, would violate First Amendment rights and harm companies’ efforts to moderate content. In part, the measure seeks to bar social-media companies from removing political candidates from platforms. Companies that violate the prohibition could face fines of $250,000 a day for statewide candidates and $25,000 a day for other candidates.
Also, a key part of the law would require social-media companies to publish standards about issues such as blocking users and apply the standards consistently. In addition, customers could file lawsuits if social-media companies violate parts of the law.
DeSantis made the issue a priority after his ally, former President Donald Trump, was blocked from Facebook and Twitter after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The Governor and Republican lawmakers described the law as protecting free speech. Hinkle also has scheduled a trial to be held in February, according to an online docket.
Republished with permission from The News Service of Florida.