Florida law challenges companies’ free speech rights

Florida’s new law preventing social media companies from banning news outlets and candidates for state offices is thought by many legal experts to violate the companies’ First Amendment rights. The Supreme Court has recognized corporations’ right to spend money as protected speech so they should also be able to host content or refuse to host it. The law also carved out exceptions for two local companies, Disney and Comcast, as operators of “a theme park or entertainment complex.” (TechCrunch, May 24, 2021, by Devin Coldewey)

Predictably, two tech industry trade groups filed suit to block the law on First Amendment grounds. Backed by precedents preventing the government from regulating citizen’s speech, the groups argue that a the Florida law targets the companies’ “perceived political and other viewpoints.” (Reason, May 28, 2021, by Scott Shackford)

For related FAC coverage, click here, here and here.

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