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Florida Bloggers Who Write About Ron DeSantis Targeted in Bill Requiring Them to Register With the State

”This thing screams ‘content-based speech regulation’ and would be thrown out of any competent court,“ one interested party said

A Florida state senator has proposed a bill that aims to potentially muzzle some of Ron DeSantis’ political opponents, calling for a mandate that would require bloggers in the state who write about the governor and other high-ranking officials to register with the government.

Jason Brodeur, a Republican representing the Orlando suburb of Lake Mary, filed the bill, which seeks to impose fines on bloggers who fail to register with the Florida Office of Legislative Services or the Commission on Ethics within five days after publishing mention of “an elected member of the legislature” or “an officer of the executive branch.”

A breach would lead to daily fines of $25 with a cap of $2,500 per published report.

The news of Florida SB 1316 was met with blowback and confusion online with one Twitter user asking how the bill defines “blogger.”

As proposed, the bill would not apply to newspapers or other traditional media but to bloggers who the bill’s author says serve as lobbyists by using the internet instead the halls of Florida government buildings.

“There’s no way this could be constitutional,” one Twitter user said, while another called it “a very fascist, anti-First Amendment thing to do!”

See other replies to a WFLA-TV story tweeted Thursday by CNN anchor Jim Acosta.