‘We’re the first state to hold these Big Tech companies to this standard of transparency and accountability,’ DeSantis says.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday signed a bill which will allow Floridians to hold social media companies accountable if they were unjustly de-platformed.
DeSantis discussed the bill during a press conference at Florida International University in Miami Monday, saying the “reform gives every Floridian the power to fight back against Big Tech.”
According to the bill, courts could award Florida residents up to $100,000 in damages if it’s found tech companies abused their First Amendment rights.
More details on SB 7072 from CBS Miami:
The new law will enable the state to fine large social media companies $250,000 a day if they remove an account of a statewide political candidate, and $25,000 a day if they remove an account of someone running for a local office.
“This is a big problem. We don’t even need to get into the election interference that we see from Silicon Valley on major issues that deserve robust debate. Silicon Valley has been acting as a council of censors, they cancel people. When mobs come after people they will pull them down. They shadow ban people which created partisan echo chambers, and honestly, they are some of the major reasons why this country is divided for doing what they are doing,” DeSantis said ahead of the signing.
“And the worst part about this: Silicon Valley thinks they know better than you. So, their power up to this point has effectively been unchecked and they used this power to impose their orthodoxies and their ideology on our public square. This is not how a free society should operate.”
Additionally, social media companies will be required to be more transparent about their moderation practices, publish general standards about how and why an account received strikes, and notify users about any changes to policies.
“We’re the first state to hold these Big Tech companies to this standard of transparency and accountability,” the governor stated. “Their power up to this point has effectively been unchecked.”
Democrats and other critics of the bill claim it violates the First Amendment rights of tech companies.
Watch the governor’s full press conference below: