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Controversy in Florida over bill that could affect free speech

A view of the Florida Congressional Headquarters in Tallahassee, Florida (USA). EFE/Colin Abbey/File

The First Amendment to the US Constitution establishes the right to free speech. Under that amendment, the United States does not require its journalists to register or hold a license to practice the profession, as it is understood to be an unrestricted occupation under the principle of independence.

But like everything, there are shades of gray. What about bloggers? Are they considered regular journalists? What happens when political activity is carried out from blogs?

Based on these doubts, a Florida state legislator, Jason Broder (Republican) has introduced a bill that, if approved and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, would Bloggers who write about members of the legislative and executive branches must register to do this work. The project defines blogs as “web pages hosted by any blogger and frequently updated with business opinion, opinion or content.”

In this entry, the blogger should mention whether the blogger receives any funding for writing this content and who is providing this funding. Non-registrants will be fined $25 per day for each day the writing is published, up to a maximum of $2,500. The plan indicates that fines do not apply to publications published in traditional media even if they are online.

Paid bloggers are lobbyists (known as PACS in the US) They write instead of speaking. Both are professional voters. If lobbyists have to register and report, why not paid bloggers?”, Brodier pointed out to the publication Florida Politics.

If the bill is approved by both houses, it will go to the governor’s office for his signature to become law (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, file)
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Florida’s legislative session this year begins on April 10 and lasts for two months. Then, such projects will be discussed. Those approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives then reach the governor’s desk. Identifiers Ron DeSantis They will become law and take effect on July 1.

It is not known whether the governor will support the plan, which is expected to create controversy. Many constitutional lawyers have already noted that if it were to become law, it would be controversial in justice A judge will not interpret it against the First Amendment.

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