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Florida Gov. DeSantis signs bill holding social media platforms accountable for online censorship

The bill imposes daily fine $250,000 on media companies that suspend accounts of political candidates.

Updated: May 24, 2021 - 3:47pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation Monday that cracks down on social media censorship and how big tech gathers user information.

The bill imposes a daily $250,000 fine on media companies that suspend the accounts of political candidates and requires companies to be transparent with their content-moderation practices. 

"One of their major missions seems to be suppressing ideas that are either inconvenient to the narrative or which they personally disagree with," the Republican governor said.

Leading conservatives, Republicans including former President Trump, and others have repeatedly argued that platforms like Facebook and Twitter censure and block their content. 

DeSantis signed the bill at Florida International University, in Miami ,with free speech advocates including Project Veritas' James O'Keefe by his side. The legislation was first introduced to the state's Senate on April 1 and was altered and approved by both chambers on April 29. 

"Social media platforms that unfairly censor, shadow ban, de-platform, or apply post-prioritization algorithms to Florida candidates, Florida users, or Florida residents are not acting in good faith," the bill reads. "The state has a substantial interest in protecting its residents from inconsistent and unfair actions by social media platforms."

Users must be notified if their content is banned or censored including when posts are labeled as 'false information' or 'disputed' and users also have the ability to sue tech companies for violating the new law.