DeSantis Proposes Crackdown on Big Tech, Takes Aim at Dems Who Claimed 2016 Election Was Stolen: ‘How Many of Them Were Deplatformed?’
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) unveiled legislation on Tuesday that would take aim at censorship by tech companies, arguing that their rules were not being applied evenly.
“As these companies have grown and their influence has expanded, Big Tech has come to look more like Big Brother with each passing day,” DeSantis said in an afternoon press conference in Tallahassee. “But this is 2021, not 1984, and this is real life, not George Orwell’s fiction. These companies exert monopoly power over a centrally important forum in the public discourse and the access of information that Floridians rely on.”
Among other measures, the legislation would require tech companies — such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter — to allow users to opt out of having their content filtered by the companies. It would also impose a fine of $100,000 per day on companies that suspend political candidates from their platforms, and require the companies to notify Florida residents of any penalties they incur for allegedly violating their terms of service.
The measure, which stands a significant chance of passage in the state’s Republican-controlled legislature, could have serious implications. In January, Apple and Google banned the social-media platform Parler from their app stores, and both Twitter and Facebook banned former President Donald Trump, a Florida resident.
DeSantis was joined at his press conference by Lt. Gov. Jeannette Nunez and top Republicans in the legislature, including House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson, as well as bill sponsors Rep. Blaise Ingoglia and Sen. Danny Burges. The governor sparred at one point during the conference with a reporter who asked whether he agreed with Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was “stolen,” arguing in response that Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) made similar claims about the 2016 election without facing retaliation by tech titans.
“How many people tweeted in 2016 … that Russia stole the election for Trump?” DeSantis said. “That happened every day, thousands of times a day. Nancy Pelosi said, ‘The election was taken from us by Russia.’ Did any of those people get deplatformed? I don’t remember anyone even calling for them to be deplatformed.”
“You can sit there and look at speech, and there’s some speech that definitely provides no value, some speech that could even be harmful for society,” he added. “But who gets to make those determinations?”
Watch above via Spectrum News.
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