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Fla. bill would hit social media companies with huge fines if they deplatform political candidates

Tech giants could be fined up to $250,000 per day.

Updated: May 1, 2021 - 9:40pm

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A bill recently passed by the Florida legislature would assess fines as high as $250,000 against social media companies that ban political candidates from their platforms.

The bill — widely seen as a rebuke to tech companies that blacklisted then-President Donald Trump from their servers in the waning days of his administration this year — was passed earlier this week by the Florida House and Senate. It is expected to be signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

The legislation directs that social media platforms "may not willfully deplatform a candidate for office who is known by the social media platform to be a candidate, beginning on the date of qualification and ending on the date of the election or the date the candidate ceases to be a candidate."

Companies that break that rule "may be fined $250,000 per day for a candidate for statewide office and $25,000 per day for a candidate for other offices," the law continues.

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