Earlier this year, Florida enacted Senate Bill 7072 – The Stop Social Media Censorship Act – which imposed requirements and prohibitions on some, but not all, social media platforms relating to the speech hosted on their websites. The Act was scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2021, but on June 30, 2021, Judge Robert L. Hinkle of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida entered a preliminary injunction in NetChoice LLC, et al. v. Ashley Brooke Moody, et al., which enjoined various Florida officials from taking any steps to enforce the Act because he found the view-point based legislation was preempted by federal law and violated the First Amendment.
The Florida legislation at issue, among other things, prohibited social media platforms from:
- Barring candidates for office from their sites;
- Using an algorithm to put a candidate’s posts in the feed of a user who wished to receive it or to exclude the post from the feed of a user who does not wish to receive it;
- Taking action to “censor, deplatform or shadow ban” a “journalistic enterprise” based on the content of its publication or broadcast; and
- Changing their user rules, terms and agreements more often than every 30 days