• Richard Easson

Ron DeSantis to be First Governor to Crack Down on Big Tech

Conservatives can rejoice that there is one state governor who is leading the charge in holding Big Tech responsible in their biased censorship of those with opposing views.

On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gave a lengthy speech in which he ripped apart Big Tech and called the Silicon Valley tech companies “enforcers of preferred narratives.” Additionally, he announced new legislation to protect his state’s constituents’ free speech and privacy.

The governor said, "At the turn of the 21st century, online technology represented tools to liberate Americans from reliance on distrusted legacy media outlets. As social media proliferated over the past decade, citizens could directly connect with large numbers of people and could cut out corporate media outlets entirely.” He continued, "Over the years, however, these platforms have changed from neutral platforms that provided Americans with the freedom to speak to enforcers of preferred narratives."

DeSantis expressed his concern that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have grown too powerful and have garnered too much control over information sharing on the internet. He also criticized them for holding double standards against conservative content and engaging in what he called “viewpoint discrimination.”

He cited the banning of President Trump from Twitter, censorship of any criticism over COVID lockdowns, the suppression of the New York Post’s bombshell Hunter Biden laptop story, and the shutting down of the Twitter alternative popular among conservatives, Parler, which was taken offline by Amazon Web Services.

The list of legislative proposals the governor unveiled include:

· Requiring social media platforms to give proper notice and disclosure of changes to their content standards or terms of service and provide full disclosure of any actions taken against a user for violating their standards.

· Providing platform users the option to opt out of the various algorithms the social media companies use to direct or suppress content from the view of other users.

· Preventing social media companies from rapidly changing these standards and applying them in a biased way against users.

· Providing users the ability to bring lawsuits against tech companies and empower the Florida attorney general to bring actions against a tech company for violations of these requirements under Florida's Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The governor also provided proposals to deter Big Tech companies from engaging in “political manipulation.” They include:

· Enacting a daily $100,000 fine on a tech company that de-platforms a candidate for elected office in Florida during an election until the candidate's access to the platform is restored.

· A tech company that promotes one candidate for office against another, the value of that free promotion must be recorded as a political campaign contribution enforced by the Florida Elections Commission.

· A tech company that uses algorithms to suppress or prioritize the access of any content related to a political cause or candidate on the ballot, that company will face daily fines.

If not a Floridian, let’s call our local and state legislatures, governors, representatives, and senators to stand and take action just like DeSantis is before conservative voices are further suppressed.