Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a “Big Tech Bill” on Monday cracking down on large technology companies that censor users or politicians for their points of view.
The governor signed the bill right after holding a press conference to explain the bill.
“When the Founding Fathers established our country, and crafted the Constitution, they were very concerned with threats to liberty primarily emanating from government power. And they believed concentrations of power inevitably would lead to people’s liberties being curtailed,” the governor explained at the press conference.
“We now have a situation in which some of these massive, massive companies in Silicon Valley are exerting a power over our population that really has no precedent in American history.”
The bill, SB 7072, does several things, including prohibiting big tech companies from de-platforming political candidates in Florida.
A news release composed by Gov. DeSantis’ office explained that the bill does three main things. Under the bill:
- “All Floridians treated unfairly by Big Tech platforms will have the right to sue companies that violate this law — and win monetary damages. This reform safeguards the rights of every Floridian by requiring social media companies to be transparent about their content moderation practices and give users proper notice of changes to those policies, which prevents Big Tech bureaucrats from ‘moving the goalposts’ to silence viewpoints they don’t like.”
- “The Attorney General of Florida can bring action against technology companies that violate this law, under Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. If social media platforms are found to have violated antitrust law, they will be restricted from contracting with any public entity. That ‘antitrust violator’ blacklist imposes real consequences for Big Tech oligopolies’ bottom line.”
- “Big Tech is prohibited from de-platforming Floridian political candidates. The Florida Election Commission will impose fines of $250,000 per day on any social media company that de-platforms any candidate for statewide office, and $25,000 per day for de-platforming candidates for non-statewide offices. Any Floridian can block any candidate they don’t want to hear from, and that is a right that belongs to each citizen — it’s not for Big Tech companies to decide.”
The impetus for SB 7072 came after Twitter and Facebook suspended former President Donald Trump’s accounts, ostensibly because of the “risk of further incitement of violence,” in Twitter’s words.
However, Twitter still permits the Supreme Leader of Iran to have and post from his account, which he has used to spread anti-Semitic tweets which directly call for violence against the Israeli government.
Gov. DeSantis mentioned this at his press conference while taking questions from reporters. “When you deplatform the president of the United States, but you let Ayatollah Khamenei talk about killing Jews, that is wrong,” the governor said to a standing ovation.
Also voicing her support for the bill, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez said, “What we’ve been seeing across the U.S. is an effort to silence, intimidate, and wipe out dissenting voices by the leftist media and big corporations.”
“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,” she added.
Christians are well aware of the power that big tech companies have to silence our voices and values. Whether its Amazon banning Christian philosopher Ryan T. Anderson’s book combatting transgender ideology, or Twitter suspending The Daily Citizen for speaking about the reality of unchangeable, immutable biological sex, the power these companies wield and use to silence dissenting voices is frightening.
Let’s pray that as more states begin to push back against censorship by big tech, Christians will soon regain their right to speak freely and openly about their biblical values.
You can follow this author on Parler @ZacharyMettler
Photo from TNS/ABACA/REUTERS