Florida Governor Signs Bill Requiring Companies To Carry User Speech Or Face Lawsuits 

May 24, 2021

Washington — Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that would allow any internet user from foreign extremists to disgruntled internet trolls to sue online websites for removing allegedly inappropriate content. The bill will deter businesses from protecting online users through the enforcement of their terms of service regarding misinformation or harmful speech on their services. 

Upon realizing that Florida’s famed theme parks also operated websites that allowed user comments would also be swept up in the bill’s draconian regulations, lawmakers amended the bill at the last minute to exempt any company that “owns a large theme park or entertainment complex.”

Several states have proposed similar legislation this session, though most bills have failed and one was vetoed. For more information on the economic impact of these regulations, see this op-ed by CCIA economist Trevor Wagener. 

The Computer & Communications Industry Association supports free speech online, which includes the right for private companies to determine what material is appropriate for their communities.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“This unconstitutional bill threatens to create more opportunities for foreign extremists peddling anti-American propaganda and fewer opportunities for internet-using Floridians.  If the Florida legislature actually believed that efforts to protect internet users from harmful content threatened free expression, it wouldn’t be excluding digital services that own local theme parks.” 

For additional information, please see Schruers’ op ed in the Orlando Sentinel.

Related Articles

CCIA, 7 Tech Associations File Supreme Court Amicus Brief In Taamneh Case

Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association, along with 7 other tech-focused organizations, has filed an amicus brief in the Twitter v. Taamneh case today. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear this case involving terrorist content and social media companies’ efforts to protect users online.  No one wants to see extremist content on…

CCIA Releases State Content Moderation Landscape

Washington – As state legislatures return next year, more than two centuries of First Amendment precedent is expected to be under attack as politicians introduce legislation to further regulate how digital platforms host online content. The Computer & Communications Industry Association has advocated for First Amendment rights online for more than 25 years and today…

CCIA, NetChoice Petition Supreme Court To Hear Florida Social Media Case

Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association and co-plaintiff NetChoice have cross-petitioned the Supreme Court to rule on Florida’s social media law that lower courts noted was unconstitutional. The filing comes after the State of Florida filed a petition earlier this month also asking the Supreme Court to grant certiorari and rule on the…