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Gov. DeSantis signs big tech censorship bill

Gov. Ron DeSantis made a South Florida stop Monday morning at Florida International University...
Gov. Ron DeSantis made a South Florida stop Monday morning at Florida International University for a bill signing that he says protects Floridians from big tech censorship.(WFOR)
Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 1:11 PM EDT
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Gov. Ron DeSantis made a South Florida stop Monday morning at Florida International University for a bill signing that he says protects Floridians from big tech censorship.

“This is a big problem, we don’t even need to get into the election interference that we see from Silicon Valley on major issues that deserve robust debate, Silicon Valley has been acting as a council of censors, they cancel people, when mobs come after people they will pull them down, they shadowban people which created partisan echo chambers, and honestly, they are some of the major reasons why this country is divided for doing what they are doing. And the worst part about this, Silicon Valley thinks they know better than you. So their power up to this point has effectively been unchecked and they used this power to impose their orthodoxies and their ideology on our public square. This is not how a free society should operate,” said DeSantis before signing Senate Bill 7072.

The bill, he said, holds Big Tech accountable by driving transparency and safeguarding Floridians’ ability to access and participate in online platforms.

“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,” said DeSantis. “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.”

Under SB 7072, per a release from the governor’s office:

  • All Floridians treated unfairly by Big Tech platforms will have the right to sue companies that violate this law — and win 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.
  • The Attorney General of Florida can bring action against technology companies that violate this law, under 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. That “antitrust violator” blacklist imposes real consequences for Big Tech oligopolies’ bottom line.
  • Big Tech is prohibited from de-platforming Floridian political candidates. The Florida Election Commission will impose fines of $250,000 per day on any social media company that de-platforms any candidate for statewide office, and $25,000 per day for de-platforming candidates for non-statewide offices. Any Floridian can block any candidate they don’t want to hear from, and that is a right that belongs to each citizen — it’s not for Big Tech companies to decide.

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