Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling for an investigation into big tech companies for violating election laws.
In an announcement on Monday, the Republican directed Florida’s Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee to open an investigation into alleged election meddling by Facebook that may have violated Florida’s election laws. The decision comes in light of the Wall Street Journal’s “bombshell report” on how Facebook lorded its power to exempt certain users from the big tech company’s user policies.
“It’s no secret that Big Tech censors have long enforced their own rules inconsistently,” the governor said. “If this new report is true, Facebook has violated Florida law to put its thumb on the scale of numerous state and local races. Floridians deserve to know how much this corporate titan has influenced our elections.”
I am authorizing @FLSecofState and the Florida Department of State to open an investigation into Facebook’s alleged election interference through its whitelisting program.
Floridians deserve to know how much Big Tech has influenced our elections. pic.twitter.com/rmGmZ6BK6T
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 27, 2021
DeSantis not only condemned Facebook’s behavior but said “the thought of Facebook clandestinely manipulating elections is an affront to the basic principles of our republic.”
“We the people have the right to choose our representatives, whether or not Silicon Valley approves,” DeSantis emphasized.
In his letter to Lee, DeSantis said he expects the secretary of state to use all possible legal avenues to investigate potential malfeasance and to involve law enforcement when necessary.
Earlier this year, DeSantis signed a law aimed at punishing Silicon Valley oligarchs for engaging in partisan deplatforming. The law not only prohibits Silicon Valley giants from removing political candidates in Florida from their platforms but states that any company that violates this portion of the law faces fines of up to $250,000 per day for statewide candidates and $25,000 per day for non-statewide candidates. It also allows any Floridian who is wrongfully censored by Big Tech to sue the platform for damages.