Trade groups representing Facebook, Twitter, and Google on Thursday filed a lawsuit in Tallahassee federal court challenging a bill that Governor Ron DeSantis claims will crack down on social media censorship.
NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association filed a suit against Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and several other state officials over the “anti-Big Tech bill,” which DeSantis signed into law on Monday, according to Politico.
The legislation “would allow the Florida Election Commission to fine social-media companies $250,000 per day if they “de-platform” candidates running for statewide office and $25,000 for candidates running for local office. It also prevents them from banning any “journalistic enterprise doing business in Florida,” the New York Post reported.
DeSantis prioritized the bill after Twitter and Facebook banned then-President Donald Trump in January for “inciting violence and spreading conspiracy theories about his election loss to President Joe Biden, which they cited as violations of their terms of service.”
The lawsuit states, “the Act is a frontal assault on the First Amendment and an extraordinary intervention by government in the free marketplace of ideas that would be unthinkable for traditional media, book sellers, lending libraries or newsstands.”
In an interview with Spectator, DeSantis knew the bill would “absolutely be challenged,” by democrats and big tech.
“Constitutional protections are not a one-way street,” said DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw on Thursday. “On the contrary, there is a delicate balance in ensuring that citizens and businesses alike are protected against government overreach, but also, that all consumers are protected against abusive, discriminatory, and/or deceptive business practices.”