US judge blocks Bill seeking to penalise social media companies for suspending politicians

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A US federal judge has blocked a Bill seeking to penalise social media platforms for banning politicians in the future.

According to NBC News, US District Judge Robert Hinkle issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the law, which was scheduled to go into effect Thursday (today).

The judge said in his order, “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.”

The law was passed at the behest of Florida’s Republicans immediately after Twitter and Facebook had de-platformed former US President Donald Trump from their social media platforms for hate speech. Under the law, social media platforms were set to be fined $250,000 a day for banning statewide politicians and $25,000 a day for other politicians for violating the law.

The development assumes significance in light of similar law passed by the Indian government, which has sought to penalise social media platforms through its new IT Rules. Twitter is already facing several police cases after it acted against several ruling BJP politicians for allegedly peddling fake news by using their social media pages.

Twitter India head Manish Maheshwari had to approach the Karnataka High Court seeking protection from arrest after the UP Police named him in one of the complaints. The UP Police report to the state’s BJP government.