Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a law, Senate Bill 7072, on Monday that empowers Floridians against Big Tech Censorship.
"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. 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," DeSantis said in a statement.
Last January, DeSantis vowed during the Texas Public Policy Foundation conference that he will end the censorship of conservatives, many of whom were deplatformed by Big Tech companies Facebook and Twitter when what was posted was contrary to their beliefs.
DeSantis said then that it would be the "most important legislative issue" that have to be focused on until 2022. Christians, he said, were often the ones targeted by these Big Tech companies from speaking out their beliefs in social media and obstructs them to exercise their right to free speech.
DeSantis then unveiled in February that there will be legislation set to put a hold on Big Tech that are becoming too powerful that they are able to control "the spread of information on the internet" based on their double standards against conservatives.
Through Senate Bill 7072, Big Tech are now accountable to ensure that Floridians are able to access and participate in online platforms with transparency and safeguards.
Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez pointed out that the effort of Big Tech to "silence, intimidate, and wipe out dissenting voices" would become a thing of the past as Florida "is taking back the virtual public square" for the people to be able to freely share information and ideas through SB 7072.
"Many of our constituents know the dangers of being silenced or have been silenced themselves under communist rule. Thankfully in Florida we have a Governor that fights against big tech oligarchs that contrive, manipulate, and censor if you voice views that run contrary to their radical leftist narrative," Nunez pointed out.
Meanwhile, Senate President Wilton Simpson expressed relief that something is now undertaken to put a halt on Big Tech abuses. He thanked the governor and Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls for their "leadership on this important issue."
"People have a right to express opposing views. This good bill protects candidates for elected office, media outlets and others from unfair and arbitrary discrimination on social media platforms," Simpson pointed out.
According to the state's website, there are three important aspects of SB 7072. These are:
- "All Floridians treated unfairly by Big Tech platforms will have the right to sue companies that violate this law--and win monetary damages."
- "The Attorney General of Florida can bring action against technology companies that violate this law, under Florida's Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act."
- "Big Tech is prohibited from de-platforming Floridian political candidates."
SB 7072 requires Big Tech to be transparent about their policies on content moderation practices so that users won't be arbitrarily silenced if it is something they do not like.
Big Tech companies will be restricted to contract with any public entity should they be found in violation of the antitrust law. They would then be fined $250,000 per day by the Florida Election Commission if they have deplatformed any Floridian political candidate. The law pointed out that the right to block candidates rests on each citizen and not on Big Tech companies.