Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law on Monday aiming to curb Big Tech censorship and give citizens the ability to punish Silicon Valley oligarchs for engaging in partisan deplatforming.
“This session, we took action to ensure that ‘We the People’ — real Floridians across the Sunshine State — are guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley elites,” the Republican said in a statement. “Many in our state have experienced censorship and other tyrannical behavior firsthand in Cuba and Venezuela. If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable.”
Florida’s Big Tech Bill gives every Floridian the power to fight back against deplatforming and allows any person to sue Big Tech companies for up to $100,000 in damages. Today, we level the playing field between celebrity and citizen on social media. https://t.co/SOW6DZZT2K
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 24, 2021
Under the new law, Floridians that are censored or banned by tech giants will be able to sue them for up to $100,000 in monetary damages.
“This reform safeguards the rights of every Floridian by requiring social media companies to be transparent about their content moderation practices and give users proper notice of changes to those policies, which prevents Big Tech bureaucrats from ‘moving the goalposts’ to silence viewpoints they don’t like,” a news release from the governor’s office explained.
The attorney general of Florida will also be granted permission to sue any Big Tech companies that violate antitrust laws and Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
“If social media platforms are found to have violated antitrust law, they will be restricted from contracting with any public entity,” said the governor’s news release. “That ‘antitrust violator’ blacklist imposes real consequences for Big Tech oligopolies’ bottom line.”
Lastly, the law prohibits Silicon Valley giants from removing political candidates in Florida from their platforms. Any company that violates this portion of the law faces fines of up to $250,000 per day for deplatforming statewide candidates and $25,000 per day for deplatforming non-statewide candidates.
Big Tech’s “power grab” over citizens, DeSantis said during a press conference on Monday, is officially over.
“With the reform we will sign in today, we will be the first state to hold Big Tech accountable so that everyday people who use their platforms have an ability to fight back,” he explained.