Judge blocks Florida law regulating social media companies

A judge on Wednesday blocked a Florida law that would be the first in the country to ban social media companies from banning political candidates.

By granting a preliminary injunction, Judge Robert L. Hinkle of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida blocked “the application of the parts of the legislation that advance or violate the First Amendment” or that are covered by other parts of Federal law.

The legislation, which was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in May, would fine companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter if they permanently bar candidates for public office in the state.

Republicans like DeSantis have said such laws are necessary because the platforms are biased against editors and conservative personalities, even though many of the most successful accounts on some social media platforms belong to right-wing voices. They were particularly outraged when Facebook and Twitter banned former President Donald J. Trump after the Capitol riots on January 6.

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