A Florida law that bars social media platforms from suspending politicians’ accounts should be blocked as unconstitutional, Protect Democracy and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) argued in an amicus submitted to a federal district judge and in a second brief submitted to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Florida law was scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2021 and was rushed through the Florida legislature and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis is a close ally of former President Donald Trump, who has been suspended from Facebook and Twitter and who has continued to lie about the 2020 election.
Florida is now facing suit over the law. NetChoice, a firm that represents major tech companies like Facebook and Twitter, and the Computer and Communications Industry Association filed suit against the state in May 2021, claiming the law violates First Amendment speech protections enjoyed by the operators of social media platforms. The district court entered a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the law, and the Eleventh Circuit upheld that decision with respect to the law’s content moderation provisions.
Florida’s law would require that platforms host political candidates who lie on social media platforms, harass other users, and incite violence. Running for office, or holding political office, should not entitle anyone to abuse terms of service that are enforced for everyone else.