Florida | Governor approves bill prohibiting social media platform from willfully deplatforming a candidate for political office

On May 24, 2021, the Governor of Florida has approved Bill No. SB 7072- Social Media Platforms that gives the state, the power to penalise social media companies from willfully deplatforming a candidate i.e., when they ban political candidates. The Bill will come into force on July 1, 2021.

Salient features of the Bill are:

  • The Bill allows the Florida Elections Commission to fine a social media platform for $250,000 per day for deplatforming a candidate for statewide office and $25,000 per day for deplatforming any other candidate.
  • The bill establishes restrictions for receiving economic benefits or contracting with public entities for certain social media platforms who have violated antitrust laws and who have been placed on the Antitrust Violator Vendor List.
  • The Bill states that social media platform that fails to comply with the requirements under the bill may be found in violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act by the Department of Legal Affairs.
  • Also, user of a social media platform may bring a private cause of action against a social media platform for failing to apply consistently certain standards and for censoring or deplatforming without proper notice.

*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this story together.

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