JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new social media law went into effect Friday in Florida. The law aims for social media companies to silence political candidates.
SB 7072 prohibits social media platforms from unleashing a candidate for a political office or a journalistic company. The new social media law signed by Governor DeSantis is among many laws that went into effect on July 1st.
The Florida Election Commission will now monitor how Facebook, Youtube and Twitter moderate what politicians say online. Social media platforms can be fined more than $ 200,000 a day for suspending the accounts of candidates for a state office and $ 25,000 a day for any other candidate.
Governor DeSantis said Floridians would have “guaranteed protection against Silicon Valley elites.”
After Twitter and Facebook banned former President Donald Trump from the platform following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Florida created a law to regulate how social media companies moderate online speech.
News4JAX spoke with Jason Pratt, founder of marketing and advertising agency Prattify, who said the Internet is still considered the wild west.
“We’re going to see a lot of changes. We’re going to see a lot of laws. The fact that a non-tech company has banned President Trump on the Internet, on its platform, should say ‘sorry, we knew there was going to be a lot going on.’ “Sure,” Pratt said.
He said, while fines are a lot of money, tech giants have grown and are very different from media companies in the past. Although Pratt said he believes it is important to keep the Internet as open as possible, he still calls the process a difficult issue.
“Now we are in the childhood of the Internet is undoubtedly social networks, where now the law wants to enter and change and censor things. It’s definitely a challenging brand and a tough point to be with the balance of security and openness, keep the Internet up and focus on your security, ”Pratt said.“ Every time you sign up for accounts, they have user agreements. People don’t usually read them and close them. Maybe if we had some sort of vignette version of this for the layman to read it and feel comfortable knowing what can get you out of this platform, that might be helpful.
The new law also states that social media platforms must be clear about how and why they remove content or leave it up.
Pratt said this law is something social media companies know about and will move forward with that in mind.
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