Florida Govenor Ron DeSantis, announced a crackdown on Big Tech in retaliation for censorship. The governor condemned companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon for leading actions of “political manipulation against right-wing views.”
“These platforms have changed from neutral platforms that gave Americans the freedom to speak, to enforcers of preferred narratives,” DeSantis said during a press conference.
“Consequently, these platforms have played an increasingly decisive role in elections and have negatively impacted Americans who dissent from the orthodoxies favored by the big tech cartel,” he stated.
DeSantis called Big Tech a group of “monopolistic communications platforms” that has the ability to regulate public discourse in its favor. He added that an initiative is being led from Florida to combat them.
“We think this is something that Floridians want protection from, and I think it will end up being a very good first step,” DeSantis said on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Besides, in an effort to keep Big Tech out of Florida’s political sphere, DeSantis proposed a series of measures including a $100,000 daily fine for companies that attempt to restrict political candidates. Additionally, actions taken by companies that effectively promote candidates will be considered campaign contributions.
The governor also proposed measures to enhance users’ rights, including the ability for individuals and Florida’s attorney general to sue companies for violations of individual protections; as well as the ability to require companies to provide full disclosure of actions taken against individuals for violating policies.
“It’s not just about being censored on Twitter. As we’ve seen, these companies can collude,” DeSantis told host Tucker Carlson.
“They can override you, if you’re a small business … they can prevent payment processing, the ability to use email and text messaging,” he said.
DeSantis added that any entrepreneur who thinks differently than those companies can be quashed in every way by Big Tech.
“If you go to a rally that they don’t like, or you engage in a thought that they consider wrong, and all of a sudden, your flower business, for example, is decapitated for a month, because (Big Tech) takes action,” he said.
The Republican acknowledged that the initiative will likely provoke a “big fight in the legislative session.”
“Hopefully, we can get a lot of support,” he said. “Most people want protection for their privacy and data. Most people want protection against platform takedowns. I think it will be received very positively, but we’re buckled. We know there are always fights over these things, so stay tuned,” he said.
Large companies, such as Amazon, Google and Apple, decided to censor former President Trump and his allies after the violent assault on the Capitol, before this, millions of users migrated to Parler in order to circumvent censorship; however the “Big tech” were uncomfortable and preferred to cut all access to them at the root.
DeSantis also addressed how companies like Twitter and Facebook interfered in some way with the presidential election.
“I was very disturbed to see credible articles about Hunter Biden actively suppressed by these big tech oligarchs in a way that I think absolutely had an impact on the presidential election,” he said.
“I was someone who even supported (Section) 230 when I was in Congress to repeal it, but, I think we’re in uncharted waters and I think we have to really think deeply,” he continued. “I want a society where we have a robust flow of information.”
“So, we’re thinking very, very deeply about this. I think it’s probably the most important legislative issue that we’re going to have to resolve this year.”