Florida Governor is fighting Big Tech. Ron DeSantis (R) this week announced bold legislation designed to prevent tech companies from doing what they just did to Donald Trump: interfere with his presidential campaign and block him from interacting with millions of users.
“The message is loud and clear. When it comes to elections in Florida, Big Tech should stay out of it,” said DeSantis.
Under the proposal, any platform that suspends a candidate while that candidate is running for office will incur a fine of $100,000 per day until they restore access. Furthermore, any platform that promotes one candidate over another will have the dollar value of that promotion recorded as a political contribution subject to enforcement by the FEC.
“Floridians should have the privacy of their data and personal information protected, their ability to access and participate in online platforms protected, and their ability to participate in elections free from interference from Big Tech protected,” argues DeSantis. Over the years, these sites “have changed from neutral platforms that provided Americans with the freedom to speak to enforcers of preferred narratives. Consequently, these platforms have played an increasingly decisive role in elections. They have negatively impacted Americans who dissent from orthodoxies favored by the Big Tech cartel.”
If the proposal becomes law, tech companies will face additional fines if they use “content and user-related algorithms to suppress or prioritize the access of any content related to a political candidate or cause on the ballot,” explained Desantis. Companies will also have to provide a 30-day notice and a clear reason before suspending a user’s account.
Big Tech censorship
During his speech, DeSantis noted Facebook and Twitter’s efforts to silence unflattering stories. Specifically, about Hunter Biden during the presidential election (read more here). He also criticized Big Tech’s attack on Parler (read more here). “When 2.8 million Americans chose to download the application Parler and share information with friends, family, and colleagues, what was the result of that? Canceled by Amazon, Google, and Apple.”
DeSantis also accused Facebook of censoring conservative content over claims that it “incites violence.”
But they allowed BLM groups to remain active during the wave of protests that occurred following the death of George Floyd.
The site is also guilty of silencing users who backed Trump’s claims about election interference. But they failed to stifle misinformation regarding Russia following the 2016 election. “How many people tweeted in 2016, ’17, ’18, ’19, and ’20 that Russia stole an election?…Did any of those people get de-platformed?”
DeSantis’s announcement coincides with a shocking report from Project Veritas.
That report confirms the site’s bias against Trump and its interference in the 2020 election.
Author’s Note: This bill is a direct response to Facebook’s mistreatment of Donald Trump and other conservatives. DeSantis is taking action because he knows the Biden Administration will not. Florida lawmakers will discuss the proposal on March 3rd.