Florida Republican Introduces Legislation to Require Bloggers to Register With State

Toward the start of March, Florida State Representative Jason Brodeur, a Republican, introduced legislation that would mandate bloggers who write about politicians to register with the state government. 

On top of that, the “Information Dissemination” bill would require bloggers to reveal their funding source and how much they are being paid to write about an election official.

Reclaim the New obtained a copy of this legislation here.

“Paid bloggers are lobbyists who write instead of talk,” Brodeur declared in a statement sent to Florida Politics. “They both are professional electioneers. If lobbyists have to register and report, why shouldn’t paid bloggers?”

“If a blogger posts to a blog about an elected state officer and receives, or will receive, compensation for that post, the blogger must register” the legislation outlined. Per Christina Maas of Reclaim the Net, bloggers would have to register with the appropriate office within five days.

The bill classifies an “elected state officer” as “the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, a Cabinet officer, or any member of the Legislature.”

It defines a blog as “a website or webpage that hosts any blogger and is frequently updated with opinion, commentary, or business content.”

That said, the “term does not include the website of a newspaper or other similar publication.”

Any individual who is caught in violation of the law could face a daily fine of $25 which has a $2500 maximum fine..

Such legislation would impede free speech. While some blog content is absolute garbage, it does not justify state force to address this issue. Ultimately, we need free speech for bad ideas to be exposed, while good ideas are promoted far and wide. 

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