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Big Tech’s most formidable oligarchs, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and Google’s Sundar Pichai, are most likely very uneasy about groundbreaking news being made in the Sunshine State, as Florida protects free speech. Florida approved legislation on Thursday, April 29th to protect free speech and disallow the deplatforming of political expression by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (owned by Google). Governor DeSantis (R) will, most assuredly, sign S.B. 7072 into law. It should go into effect on July 1st, 2021. Big Tech is not the only one that has a lot to fear from this seminal law.
Joe Biden’s presidential election victory was, in probable likelihood, made possible by the relaxation of mail-in ballot standards, a product of changes made to electoral laws beginning in February 2020 (nine months before the elections) by state executive and bureaucratic actors (not the constitutionally mandated state legislatures) to accommodate pandemic concerns. The gross irregularities and anomalies witnessed in the 2020 presidential election can be argued were the result of the ensuing loosening of previously established electoral safeguards. Another important factor was the part Big Tech played.
By censoring news and controlling speech, of any kind, that might have proven favorable to former president Donald J. Trump, the candidacy of the Democratic presidential nominee was assisted. Section 230 immunity allowed Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to do this without legal challenges, even if these policies trampled on the First Amendment and impacted unfairly conservatives. Florida’s Social Media Platforms bill (S. B. 7072) will hold accountable these Big Tech conglomerates, who are functionally monopolies and will seek equitable justice under the Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, for censorship schemes that are executed by deplatforming political figures.
The social media giants would face daily fines of up to $250,000 per day, as well as other challenges. While the law’s reach would be limited to crimes against Florida citizens, politicians in particular, the authoritarian practice of deplatforming someone from these supposedly public domains, could have far-reaching contagion effects. Many states will most likely follow Florida’s example.
The left will, undoubtedly, cringe with anger. After all, by their own admission in the highly publicized Times article, where the leftist cabal of Big Tech, woke business and labor, and mass corporate media admitted their plot to obstruct a Trump 2020 victory, the manipulation of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by its owners was instrumental in bringing this to be. It should be expected that the left’s front organizations will mount a hysterical offensive against this law (once passed) and Governor DeSantis.
To avoid further socialist encroachments on American liberty and prosperity, the two biggest feats for saving the Republic are edifying voter integrity laws that will make it difficult for the Democrats to cheat and stopping Big Tech from controlling political speech. The mutilating of rights protected in the Constitution’s First Amendment must be confronted. Florida’s Social Media Law (S. B. 7072) is a trendsetter. Another reason to be a proud resident of the free State of Florida.
Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.