In a surprise announcement on Tuesday expanding the agenda for a special legislative session, DeSantis said an exemption in the social media law for companies that operate "a theme park or entertainment complex" was "unnecessary to effectuate the law," and he pushed for an unspecified amendment.
In his announcement, DeSantis also noted that a federal court, which has paused the social media law, cast doubt on the constitutionality of the exemption, which was widely understood to benefit Disney as a major employer, tourist draw and campaign donor.
In granting a preliminary injunction against the social media law last summer, however, a judge emphasized that the central purpose of the statute — which allowed consumer lawsuits for inconsistent "censorship" by tech platforms — was to dictate how platforms moderate content, in violation of the First Amendment. Florida is appealing that ruling.
DeSantis, a rising Republican star who has a built his brand on offending liberals and using government policy to punish those who disagree with him, signed the social media law in response to allegations that companies like Twitter and Facebook are biased against conservatives. Two tech trade groups sued to stop it.
In addition to taking steps to allow Disney to come under the scope of the censorship law, DeSantis also suggested state lawmakers should put an end to "special districts," including the one that allows the company to act almost as a government authority on its own park.