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Gov. Ron DeSantis takes aim at big tech companies, social media platforms

Governor wants to fine companies if political candidates deplatformed
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks on legislation to protect social media users
Posted at 8:55 AM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 08:56:01-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Tuesday to announce the support of legislation to protect social media users' privacy, saying "big tech has come to look more like big brother with each passing day."

The governor said the legislation will seek a slew of changes that DeSantis says will protect privacy and censorship by social media platforms.

He called out Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple and Amazon for being "nameless, faceless boards of censors."

"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 said.

The governor said he believes social media has played an "increasingly decisive role in elections and negatively impacted Americans who dissent from orthodoxy favored by the big tech cartel."

This move comes after former President Trump Donald was taken off most major social media outlets following the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The governor said Trump being taken off Twitter was a double standard since other people like the Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran still have an account despite calling for the destruction of Israel.

"They have some much garbage and filth on that platform. ... [Twitter's] excuse doesn't hold water," DeSantis said. "No group of people should exercise such power, especially not tech billionaires in Northern California."

The governor pushed back on the notion that the media did not run more Hunter Biden stories because they thought the information came from hacking or was dispersed by foreign governments.

DeSantis said the media would have published hacked material if it hurt him.

"You can whizz on my leg, but don't tell me it is raining," DeSantis said. "You guys would print it every single day if you could, and big tech would allow it to proliferate every single day."

DeSantis was joined by Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, House Speaker Chris Sprowls and State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia for the announcement.

"Florida consumers deserve protection for their privacy. With the help of our legislative partners, we're going to stand together in support of Floridians and put a stop to big tech's practice of praying on consumers. Your privacy is important," DeSantis said.

Under the legislation, he said if a big tech company deplatforms a candidate for elected office in Florida, the company would face a daily fine of $100,000 until the candidate's access to the platform is restored.

"The message is loud and clear. When it comes to elections in Florida, big tech should stay out of it," DeSantis said.