Gov. DeSantis announces legislation to crack down on big tech, online censorship

WTXL Tallahassee FL:

Florida Governor Ron De Santis slammed big tech companies on Tuesday, blasting them for their tyrannical approach to free speech, and the amount of censorship they impose on ordinary citizens

Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced support of legislation to protect Floridians’ from online social media censorship . The governor made lengthy comments from Tallahassee Tuesday morning about big technology companies, saying that Floridians deserve to have their online data and their ability to participate in social media online protected.

“It’s high time that we step up to the plate to ensure the protection of the people and their rights,” DeSantis said, while standing alongside legislative leaders at the Florida Capitol.” He called big technology companies “enforcers of preferred narratives” whose interests are “not in the public interest.”

“As these companies have grown and their influence expanded, big tech has come to look more like big brother with each passing day,” DeSantis said.

The legislation proposed by Florida’s Republican legislators, aims to target technology giants like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, and Apple.

The companies have been the subject of criticism after the companies suspended former President Trump from their platforms and removed conservative-favored platform Parler. 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.”

Saying that the legislation will address “censorship” and “deplatforming,” DeSantis said he plans to tackle “viewpoint discrimination” against conservative voices and force big tech companies to be transparent about their regulation of content.

“When a social media company applies these standards unequally on users, this is discrimination, pure and simple,” DeSantis said.

He said legislators seek to do the following things this term:

  • Requiring companies to give “proper notice and disclosure” of changes to their platform’s policies
  • Require platforms to inform users of any actions taken against them for violating their policies
  • Prevent platforms from “rapidly changing” standards and applying them unequally against users
  • Give users options to opt-out of algorithms the platforms use to steer and suppress conten
  • tEnable users to bring a “cause of action” against a technology company for violating the requirements of Florida law
  • Empower Attorney General to take action against a technology company for violations under Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act

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