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Florida First Amendment Foundation leader believes defamation bill will affect everyone

Bobby Block: 'I think people will be afraid to speak'
Posted at 11:01 AM, Mar 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-22 14:08:17-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida lawmakers are debating HB 991, which would lower the bar on what is considered defamation and as well as lower the bar on who is considered a public figure under defamation law.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and his allies say the bill will rein in media excesses. It is just no mainstream media that would be affected, social media posts and blog entries could be the subject of lawsuits.

Bobby Block, the executive director of the Florida First Amendment Foundation, told WPTV's Michael Williams if the bill becomes law it will affect everyone.

"I think people will be afraid to speak," Block told Williams on "To the Point." "I think any society in any state in which people, before they sit down on a keyboard or with a pen in their hand or with a microphone in their hand, that they're afraid to write, post or speak, it is not the free state of Florida, that we've been told it is."

WATCH: Could HB 991 do more harm than good for Floridians?

Could HB 991 do more harm than good for Floridians?

The proposal to ban abortions in Florida after six weeks passed another committee this past week.

WPTV political analyst Brian Crowley breaks down the proposal and looks at other political topics.

WATCH: Is Florida getting closer to outright abortion ban?

Roundtable discussion: Is Florida getting closer to outright abortion ban?

WPTV political analyst Brian Crowley offers his "Crowley Closer" on how Republicans complain about how terrible the state of Florida is, but he notes they have been in control of the Florida Legislature since 1999.

WATCH: 'If things are a mess, it's because of the GOP'

Crowley Closer: 'If things are a mess, it's because of the GOP'

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