Florida Governor Ron DeSantis threw down against Big Tech interference in U.S. elections in an animated speech at the Florida State Capitol on Tuesday.
“It’s high time that we step up to the plate to ensure the protection of the people and their rights,” the governor said.
“The governor announced a new legislative effort to crack down on Big Tech, intending to limit social media companies’ ability to sell user information to advertisers for a profit and taking action to protect social media users amid accusations that Facebook and Twitter engage in censorship of certain viewpoints or information,” the Blaze reported.
“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.”
“These platforms have played an increasingly decisive role in elections and have negatively impacted Americans who dissent from orthodoxies favored by the Big Tech cartel,” he added.
Governor DeSantis named a number of disturbing incidents that underscore the threat big tech companies pose to the nation’s democratic process, such as the purge of former president Donald Trump from social media platforms, the campaign-season censorship of a bombshell report from the NY Post on Hunter Biden that proved accurate, and Amazon’s and Google’s anti-competitive shutdown of Parler’s servers.
“Big tech has come to look more like Big Brother with each passing day,” he remarked.
The governor referenced “nameless, faceless boards of censors” that violate Americans’ rights. Big tech companies are “not entitled to track your every move,” he proclaimed.
“Our Founding Fathers were deliberate in the enshrinement of our rights in the Constitution to ensure that we the people were guaranteed protection against those wishing to violate our rights,” he added.
“Ironically, our early founders were most concerned with the tyranny of government in deciding these rights, but today the Big Tech oligarchy has in many ways become a clear and more present danger to the restriction of the right to free speech than the government itself,” he explained.
“Silicon Valley CEOs wield extraordinary power, to the point of holistically controlling the flow of vast swaths of information in our country. In a matter of hours, a business can be dismantled, a community of friends and colleagues canceled, and even a sitting president of the United States silenced,” he went on.
“By their own admission, social media companies view themselves as platforms of global, regional, and local connectivity,” DeSantis added. “Make no mistake, they are nothing more than advertising conglomerates, and I’m not interested in handing over the keys to the public square to a bunch of companies whose economic interests are not aligned with the public interest.”
As The Blaze reported, the following are the legislative proposals from Governor DeSantis for social media users:
- “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.”
- “Prevent social media platforms from rapidly changing these standards and applying them unequally against users.”
- “Provide users the option to opt out of the various algorithms these platforms use to steer content or suppress content from the view of other users.”
The following are the proposed election law changes:
- “If a tech company 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.”
- “If a tech company 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”
- “Provide 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.”
- “Imposing a daily $100,000 fine on a tech company that deplatforms a candidate for elected office in Florida during an election 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,” the Florida governor warned.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.