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Get the latest coverage of the 2021 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

Bill To Prevent Social Media Censorship Approved By Florida House Committee

Blaise Ingoglia talking to another representative
Florida House of Representatives
“We need transparency, accountability and consistency,” Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill (left) says the bill to prevent social media censorship.

The effort to prevent social media companies from blocking political candidates is a priority for Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In a priority of Gov. Ron DeSantis, a House committee Monday approved a bill designed to crack down on social media companies that block users from their platforms.

The House Appropriations Committee voted 19-8 to approve the measure (HB 7013), sponsored by Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill.

The proposal came after decisions by Twitter and Facebook to block former President Donald Trump from their platforms in January after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to prevent certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.

In part, the bill would prevent social media sites from blocking political candidates in Florida from platforms. It also would require the companies to publish standards about issues such as blocking users and apply the standards consistently.

“We need transparency, accountability and consistency,” Ingoglia said.

But some opponents said they think the bill would violate the companies’ constitutional rights. They raised concerns about violating the First Amendment and whether the state has the authority to regulate such issues.

“This is broke. I just don’t know whether it is in our purview to fix it,” Rep. Joe Geller, D-Aventura, said.

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