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Groups representing Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Google are suing Florida over Gov. DeSantis' new law banning 'deplatforming'

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Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Two tech-industry groups filed a lawsuit against a new law in Florida banning "deplatforming."

  • The suit called the law, enacted by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a "smorgasbord of constitutional violations."

  • The groups that filed the suit count Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon as members.

  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Tech daily newsletter.

Two industry groups that represent tech companies including Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon filed a lawsuit against Florida, claiming that a new law targeting online speech violates the First Amendment.

The lawsuit, filed by NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association, is aimed at a law enacted last week by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis has framed the law as protecting citizens from online censorship. It's designed to prohibit social-media platforms from "willfully deplatforming" political candidates and lets Florida fine a company $250,000 a day if it does deplatform someone.

The law also lets Florida citizens sue a tech company for up to $100,000 if they believe it's breaking the law.

The lawsuit described the law as a "smorgasbord of constitutional violations" and argued that it would make it impossible for tech companies to exercise their First Amendment rights by moderating their platforms for objectionable and harmful content.

The tech groups filed the lawsuit last Thursday, seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions to prevent the law from coming into force on July 1.

"These unprecedented restrictions are a blatant attack on a wide range of content-moderation choices that these private companies have to make on a daily basis to protect their services, users, advertisers, and the public at large from a variety of harmful, offensive, or unlawful material," the lawsuit argued.

It also pointed to a loophole in the law exempting companies that own theme parks in Florida, such as Disney. The suit argued that this was evidence that the law unfairly targeted specific companies.

Legal experts have also described the law as unconstitutional. "This is so obviously unconstitutional, you wouldn't even put it on an exam," A. Michael Froomkin, a law professor at the University of Miami, told Wired last week.

Read the original article on Business Insider