Florida’s legislature approves controversial bill to fine social media platforms for banning politicians

Both houses of Florida’s legislature approved a new controversial bill that would stop tech giants from de-platforming politicians.

The legislation allows platforms to suspend accounts, but only for 14 days, and could fine the platforms as much as $250,000 per day for violating the law.

NetChoice, a group that promotes free expression on the internet, testified against the legislation last month.

Donald Trump was banned by Twitter and suspend by Facebook and YouTube after the deadly Capitol Hill riots in January.

Since leaving office, Donald Trump has spent much of his time in Florida and is believed to be close with Governor Ron DeSantis, as well as other high-ranking Florida Republicans.

However, critics say the law could have unintended consequences.

Last month, Steve DelBianco, NetChoice’s chief executive, said while testifying against the bill: “Imagine if the government required a church to allow user-created comments or third-party advertisements promoting abortion on its social media page.”

“Just as that would violate the First Amendment, so too does it would similarly force social media platforms to host content they otherwise would not allow.”

Although the bill was passed in the state’s House and Senate on Thursday, it’s likely tech companies will challenge it in court – saying the bill violates American’s First Amendment rights.

The bill includes a clause that exempts a company “that owns and operates a theme park or entertainment complex” which allows Disney to be exempt from this bill.

Florida is home to the Disney World theme park.

The bill must now be signed off by Trump ally, Governor Ron DeSantis.