A judge on Wednesday blocked a Florida law that would be the first in the country to bar social media companies from banning political candidates.
In granting a preliminary injunction, United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida Judge Robert L. Hinkle blocked enforcement of “parts of the law that are already vacant or violate the First Amendment” or other parts of federal law.
legislation, which was signed on By Ron DeSantis in May, companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter will be fined if they permanently barred candidates in the state.
Republicans like Mr DeSantis have said such laws are necessary because the platforms are against conservative publishers and personalities, even though some of the most successful accounts on social media platforms are from right-wing voices. When Facebook and Twitter attacked former President Donald J. They were especially annoyed when Trump was banned.
Two lobbying groups representing Facebook, Google and other tech giants – NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association – sued to block the law.
Judge Hinkle urged the law to stop being applied on a preliminary basis, saying the technical groups are likely to succeed when the merits of the case are considered.
“Now the legislation on this issue was an attempt to rein in social media providers, who were considered too big and too liberal,” he said. “It is not a legitimate government interest to balance the exchange of views between private speakers.”
A spokesman for Mr DeSantis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.