Federal judge puts Florida ‘deplatforming’ law on hold, citing First Amendment

 Federal judge puts Florida ‘deplatforming’ law on hold, citing First Amendment

A federal judge Wednesday put on hold a first-of-its-kind law in Florida that authorized the state to penalize social media companies when they ban political candidates, a win for social media companies as they try to keep control of their platforms.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the law, which was scheduled to go into effect Thursday.

Hinkle said the law’s ban on “deplatforming” likely violated the free speech rights of the tech companies, which under the First Amendment are generally free to decide what to publish without government interference.

“The legislation compels providers to host speech that violates their standards — speech they otherwise would not host — and forbids providers from speaking as they otherwise would,” he wrote.

Referring to the sweeping scope of the law, he added: “Like prior First Amendment restrictions, this is an instance of burning the…

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