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Ron DeSantis. Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Florida Monday became the first state in the U.S. to broadly regulate social media platforms' moderation of user speech online.

Driving the news: Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law fining social media services that permanently ban candidates running for office in Florida.

  • The law also prevents platforms from removing content from news outlets above a certain size.
  • It allows people to sue platforms if they think social media companies are inconsistently applying their content rules.

Yes, but: Legal experts expect the law to face constitutional challenges.

  • Corbin Barthold, internet policy counsel at tech policy think tank TechFreedom, called it a "First Amendment train wreck."

Of note: Companies are exempt from the law if they own a theme park or another type of entertainment venue bigger than 25 acres.

  • That gives Florida-based Disney and Universal Studios a pass on the new online rules.

What they're saying: "If Big Tech censors enforce rules consistently to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable," DeSantis said, describing the bill as a recourse for Florida residents who think they've been unfairly treated by tech companies.

  • On a call with reporters, officials from DeSantis' office said they were confident the law would stand up to legal scrutiny.

What to watch: Other states have considered similar bills, but this is the first to make it to a governor's desk.

  • Republican ire with tech companies and content moderation policies has risen steadily, especially after former President Donald Trump lost his Twitter and Facebook accounts following the January 6 Capitol riot.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

CDC: Vaccinated people in COVID hotspots should resume wearing masks

CDC director Rochelle Walensky and top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci at a Senate HELP committee hearing. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidance on Tuesday recommending that vaccinated people wear masks in indoor, public settings if they are in parts of the U.S. with substantial to high transmission, among other circumstances.

Why it matters: The guidance, a reversal from recommendations made two months ago, comes as the Delta variant continues to drive up case rates across the country. Millions of people in the U.S. — either by choice or who are ineligible — remain unvaccinated and at risk of serious infection.

Olympics medal tracker

Data: International Olympic Committee; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. students fell 4 to 5 months behind during pandemic

An empty classroom in Pinole, Calif. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Elementary school students in the U.S. ended the school year four to five months behind their expected level of academic achievement, according to a new report.

Why it matters: Months of school closures and often inferior remote education eroded what schoolchildren would have learned since the pandemic began, and caused some to go backwards.