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Florida bill would require bloggers to register before writing about DeSantis

( Hill )

A bill proposed this week by a Republican state senator in Florida would require bloggers who write about Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), his Cabinet officers and members of the Florida legislature to register with the state.

Bloggers who receive compensation for a given online post about an elected state officer would have to register with the Florida Office of Legislative Services or the Commission on Ethics — though the requirement would not extend to the websites of newspapers or similar sites.

“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 with the appropriate office … within 5 days after the first 164 by the blogger which mentions an elected state officer,” reads the bill, introduced by Republican state Sen. Jason Brodeur.

If additional posts about elected state officers were to be posted, the blogger would have to file monthly reports detailing where, when and by whom the post was published, plus the amount of compensation received. Failure to file reports could lead to fines.

The elected state officers covered by the proposed “Information Dissemination” bill are defined as “the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, a Cabinet officer, or any member of the Legislature.”

A blog is defined in the bill as “a website or webpage that hosts any blogger and is frequently updated with opinion, commentary, or business content” and a blog post as “an individual webpage on a blog which contains an article, a story, or a series of stories.”

The Hill has reached out to the governor’s office for comment.

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