The governor of Florida has joined the fight against Big Tech censorship. He has plans to introduce legislation to oppose control by the media giants who have restricted freedom of speech.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed a law to protect Floridians against such censorship of Republican candidates. He aimed the “monopoly of communications platforms” that “monitor and control” Floridians, reports Newsmax. The legislation targets Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, and Apple, says Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls.
“What began as a group of upstart technology companies from the west coast has since transformed into an industry of monopoly communications platforms that monitor, influence, and control the flow of information in our country and among our citizens,” DeSantis said during a press conference at the State Capital in Tallahassee.
“These platforms have played an increasingly decisive role in elections and have negatively impacted Americans who descend from orthodoxies favored by the big tech cartel,” he added.
DeSantis used the recent ban on former president Donald Trump’s Twitter account during the run-up to the Nov. 3 elections as an example. He addressed how Big Tech had manipulated media content and algorithms to favor Joe Biden.
“That’s why in Florida, we’re gonna take aim at those companies and pull back the veil and make sure those guys don’t continue to find loopholes and grey areas to live above the law,” DeSantis said.
“Under our proposal, if a technology company de-platforms a candidate for elected office in Florida during an election, that company will face a daily fine of $100,000 until the candidate’s access to the platform is restored.”
If the bill passes, it will prevent media platforms from altering standards. Users will be able to decide to leave content algorithms if they choose to, and a “cause of action” direction for legal action and fines for tech companies amounting to $100,000 per day will be implemented for “de-platforming” political candidates, reports Newsmax.
“Used to be that consumers were trusted to make their own decisions about what information to consume, about which leaders to ‘follow,’ about what news to watch,” said DeSantis. “Now those decisions are increasingly made by nameless, faceless boards of sensors.”
The proposal from DeSantis follows two Florida GOP lawmakers’ decision to file bills prohibiting Florida state and local governments from conducting business with Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, and its parent company Alphabet, from July 1.
“What prompted me to draft this legislation was the lifetime ban of the president of the United States—the duly elected and non-removed president of the United States—forever, including after he was a private citizen, coupled with the sudden shutdown of competitors of companies by their fellow Big Tech companies,” state Rep. Randy Fine (R-Fla.) told the Orlando Sentinel.