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First Amendment Ruling Means Tech Companies Can Keep Banning Trump

A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction against a proposed Florida law that would see social media giants fined a whopping US$250,000 a day for banning Donald Trump and other political candidates.

The judge found such a law would be a violation of the tech companies’ First Amendment rights, which allow tech companies to publish whatever they see fit, without governmental interference.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said of the law: “Like prior First Amendment restrictions, this is an instance of burning the house to roast a pig.

“The legislation now at issue was an effort to rein in social-media providers deemed too large and too liberal.

“Balancing the exchange of ideas among private speakers is not a legitimate governmental interest. And even aside from the actual motivation for this legislation, it is plainly content-based and subject to strict scrutiny.”

He explained that by enforcing such a law, platforms such as Twitter and Facebook would have to host speech that “violates their standards — speech they otherwise would not host — and forbids providers from speaking as they otherwise would.”

 

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