Florida Monday became the first state in the U.S. to broadly regulate social media platforms' moderation of user speech online.
Driving the news: Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law fining social media services that permanently ban candidates running for office in Florida.
- The law also prevents platforms from removing content from news outlets above a certain size.
- It allows people to sue platforms if they think social media companies are inconsistently applying their content rules.
Yes, but: Legal experts expect the law to face constitutional challenges.
- Corbin Barthold, internet policy counsel at tech policy think tank TechFreedom, called it a "First Amendment train wreck."
Of note: Companies are exempt from the law if they own a theme park or another type of entertainment venue bigger than 25 acres.
- That gives Florida-based Disney and Universal Studios a pass on the new online rules.
What they're saying: "If Big Tech censors enforce rules consistently to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable," DeSantis said, describing the bill as a recourse for Florida residents who think they've been unfairly treated by tech companies.
- On a call with reporters, officials from DeSantis' office said they were confident the law would stand up to legal scrutiny.
What to watch: Other states have considered similar bills, but this is the first to make it to a governor's desk.
- Republican ire with tech companies and content moderation policies has risen steadily, especially after former President Donald Trump lost his Twitter and Facebook accounts following the January 6 Capitol riot.