“We will be the first state to hold Big Tech accountable so that everyday people who use their platforms have an ability to fight back,” said DeSantis.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Big Tech Bill” on Monday, making Florida the first U.S. state to give its citizens the legal power to hold social media companies accountable for unfair censorship practices.
“When Big Tech censors enforce their rules inconsistently to discriminate in favor of the dominant ideology in Silicon Valley, they will be held accountable in the State of Florida,” said DeSantis at the bill signing ceremony.
“With the reform we will sign today, we will be the first state to hold Big Tech accountable so that everyday people who use their platforms have an ability to fight back,” he said.
According to DeSantis, the power of social media companies has been effectively unchecked up to this point.
“They evade accountability by claiming they’re just neutral platforms, even as they amplify partisan agendas and censor dissent. So every day, they act as the proverbial Big Brother, and 2021 looks an awful lot like the fictitious 1984,” he said.
The new law will allow Floridians who have been deplatformed to sue social media companies for damages, and courts may award up to $100,000 for each proven claim.
It will also allow Florida’s attorney general to bring legal action against technology companies under the state’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
In addition, the law prohibits Big Tech from deplatforming Florida’s political candidates. The state’s election commission will impose fines of $250,000 per day on any social media company that deplatforms any candidate for statewide office, and $25,000 per day for deplatforming candidates for non-statewide offices.
However, the law is not retroactive, so social media bans on former President Donald Trump and former congressional candidate Laura Loomer, who are both Florida residents, remain in effect.
DeSantis did comment on the deplatforming of the former president, however, saying, “When you deplatform the President of the United States but you let Ayatollah Khamenei talk about killing Jews, that is wrong,” he said.
Loomer, who is running again for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 21st District, said in a statement, “I want to thank the Governor of the Great State of Florida, Ron DeSantis, who truly understands that Big Tech tyranny is an existential threat to our Constitutional Republic, to free and fair elections, and to free speech – which is the bedrock of our Constitution.”