U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a First Amendment fight over Florida’s social media law on Feb. 26

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Social media apps on an iPhone. Illustration by hapabapa via iStock for WMNF News.

©2024 The News Service of Florida

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Feb. 26 in a First Amendment fight about a 2021 Florida law that placed restrictions on large social media companies.

The Supreme Court issued a schedule Friday that included the case.

Florida went to the Supreme Court after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals kept in place most of a preliminary injunction that U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued against the law in 2021.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made a priority of passing the law after Twitter, now known as X, and Facebook blocked former President Donald Trump from their platforms after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The law, in part, would prevent large platforms from banning political candidates from their sites and require companies to publish — and apply consistently — standards about issues such as banning users or blocking their content.

Companies could face penalties for violating restrictions in the law. For example, companies that remove political candidates from platforms could face fines of $250,000 a day for statewide candidates and $25,000 a day for other candidates.

The industry groups NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association challenged the constitutionality of the law, leading to the injunction.

Hinkle described the law as “riddled with imprecision and ambiguity.”

The Supreme Court on Feb. 26 also will take up a challenge to a similar Texas law.

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