Florida bill proposes state registration for bloggers covering Gov. DeSantis

Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Gov. Ron DeSantis in North Venice for the launch of his book. (Credit: WINK News)

A new bill introduced to the Florida Senate would require any bloggers writing about Gov. Ron DeSantis, any member of his Cabinet, or any other state legislator to register with the state.

Republican Sen. Jason Brodeur introduced Senate Bill 1316, called “Information Dissemination.” It would also require the disclosure of whoever is paying the bloggers along with how much the bloggers are paid for their posts about certain elected officials.  According to the bill, a blog is defined as “a website or webpage that hosts any blogger and is frequently updated with opinion, commentary, or business content. The term does not include the website of a newspaper or other similar publication.”

The report about the blogger and blog post must include: “The individual or entity that compensated the blogger for the blog post” and “the amount of compensation received from the individual or entity, regardless of how the compensation was structured,” among other requirements.

The bill states that if a blogger publishes a post each month about the officials, they must file monthly reports. If the blogger fails to file a report by the cutoff date, they will not be able to post.

“A blogger must file monthly reports on the 10th day following the end of each calendar month from the time a blog post is added to the blog,” states the bill.

However, if a blogger does not file a report on time, they may be subject to a fine.

“A fine of $25 per day per report for each day late, not to exceed $2,500 per report,” according to the bill.

The bill has received criticism from several First Amendment rights advocates. It remains unclear if DeSantis supports the bill. He will review and consider passing the bill if it passes the Florida Legislature.

Click here to read the bill.

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