Mesa, AZ – After several congressional hearings over discriminatory censorship practices in social media produced little to no meaningful changes, Governor Ron DeSantis has made Florida the first state to propose real accountability for Big Tech’s politically-driven suppression of speech. Patrick Wood, Executive Director and founder of Citizens for Free Speech (CFFS) and a staunch critic of Silicon Valley’s ongoing assault on the First Amendment rights of millions of American Citizens, cheered the aggressive move by the Florida governor.
“This is the type of bold leadership that free speech advocacy groups like CFFS have been pushing for,” Wood stated. “We have tried to apply pressure on Big Tech monopolies through public sentiment, Congress has tried to enact governmental regulation, and all efforts have been in vain, as the technocrats running the platforms have been virtually insulated from potential sanctions. But now, finally, someone is taking action to hit them where it hurts—in their wallets.”
Among the new regulations proposed by DeSantis, tech companies that suspend the accounts of political candidates in Florida would face fines of $100,000 per day. Additionally, Florida citizens would now have the right to take legal action against tech companies that force content filters upon social media users from the Sunshine State.
The social media industry that started as a series of “neutral platforms that provided Americans with the freedom to speak to enforcers of preferred narratives,” DeSantis said, “have played an increasingly decisive role in elections, and have negatively impacted Americans who dissent from orthodoxies favored by the Big Tech cartel.”
Those orthodoxies, Wood explained, have been very partisan in nature.
“It’s not necessarily an anti-Republican bias that has been imposed by the left-leaning tech corporations; rather it’s an issues-oriented favoritism that has limited the ability of millions of Americans to access information they want, and just as importantly, to express views that the technocrats might find objectionable. That’s an affront to the First Amendment.”
DeSantis’ multi-layered remedy for the problem, at least in his state, also calls for daily fines for companies that use their “content and user-related algorithms to suppress or prioritize the access of any content related to a political candidate or cause on the ballot. The governor also demands greater transparency and disclosure requirements for platforms that favor one candidate over another.
Even more aggressively, DeSantis wants the attorney general of Florida to be able to bring legal cases against tech corporations that violate these new state directives.
“This group of upstart companies from the west coast,” the governor declared, “has transformed into an industry of monopoly communications platforms that monitor, influence, and control the flow of information in our country and among our citizens. And they do this to an extent hitherto unimaginable.”
Wood is hopeful that the path being carved out by Florida will be followed by other states.
“Waiting for Washington to do something about this assault on speech and expression is no longer an option for us. At CFFS, we believe in taking on these challenges in our own backyards, at the local level, and as such we will encourage other governors to take actions similar to Governor DeSantis’ in their own states.”
For more information about CFFS please visit www.CitizensForFreeSpeech.org.
National Director of Communications