Florida Governor Ron DeSantis does it again.
DeSantis has been going on the aggressive by taking the battle to leftists who are trying to take control of his state. Recently, DeSantis banned the teaching of racist, leftist Critical Race Theory in Florida’s schools (see here for more about that). Now, he’s giving the people of Florida legal teeth to take on big tech’s censorship, which is almost exclusively one-sided against political conservatives. Bowen Xiao writes,
Governor Ron DeSantis today signed into law a bill—the first of its kind in the United States—allowing Floridians to sue Big Tech platforms.
[With the passing of this bill, c]ourts may award up to $100,000 in damages to an individual if a social media platform censors or shadowbans a user’s content, or deplatforms a user, or if a social media platform has not applied censorship or deplatforming standards in a consistent manner, according to the text of the bill.
“We will be the first state to hold Big Tech accountable,” DeSanits said at a press conference. “They are exerting a power that really has no precedent in American history.”
Again, from Xiao:
The law also blocks Big Tech from deplatforming Floridian political candidates. The Florida Election Commission will impose fines of $250,000 per day on any social media company that deplatforms any candidates for statewide office. The fine is $25,000 per day when deplatforming candidates for other offices.
While Floridians have the right to block anyone, it is not the role of Big Tech to censor, said DeSantis.
This is huge.
Big tech has taken an almost exclusively leftist stand on topics and has been rampant about censoring and silencing conservative and libertarian political voices. Yet, big tech has also had immunity under the law against law suits, just like utilities, under the assumption that utilities aren’t responsible for how people use their service. Except that big tech platforms have not taken a hands off approach to what is on their platform in the way that a utility takes a hands off approach to how people use a utility’s service.
Good for Ron DeSantis. Big tech should not have the legal protection of utilities but should be held accountable for their attempts to silence dissent from their leftist ideologies. Now, the other forty-nine states need to do the same thing.