Florida Reining in Big Tech Tyrants

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is a national leader in the fight against the abuses and censorship of abuses and censorship Big Tech (Twitter, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon).

On February 3, 2021, in an interview with Greg Kelly from Newsmax Television, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis denounced Big Tech’s censorship, political manipulation, and election meddling. The Governor said that Florida’s legislature was going to put an end to Big Tech for its increasing abuses of power.

“You go back 10 years, you didn’t have this type of censorship of alternative viewpoints, conservative views among them,” DeSantis stated.

Governor DeSantis pointed out three objectives of his legislation, the largest and most aggressive attempt to address the problem of Big Tech’s censorship, called the Transparency in Technology Act against the Big Tech Cartel — Twitter, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon:

  1. Protecting privacy of data.

2. Preventing big-tech interference in elections.

  1. Grappling with censorship inequality and holding Big Tech accountable for bias.

The Governor of Florida is placing Big Tech on notice by announcing a series of new regulations designed to stop the censorship of political candidates. He is also instituting mandatory opt-outs of content filters for Florida residents.

On February 2, 2021, Governor DeSantis spoke for 45 minutes outside the Florida State Capitol. “Today, they may come after someone who looks like me,” he said. “Tomorrow they may come after someone that looks like you.”

The Big Tech Cartel

Governor Ron DeSantis accused Big Tech giant multinationals like Google, Amazon, Apple Facebook, and Twitter of being Silicon Valley “oligarchs” and stated that they represent the biggest threat to American democracy and freedom of expression.

“What began as a group of upstart companies from the West coast has since transformed into an industry of monopoly communications platform 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,” said DeSantis.

The Florida Governor also accused Big Tech companies of being a cartel stating that, “These platforms have changed from neutral platforms that provided Americans with the freedom to speak to enforcers of preferred narratives.”

Florida will introduce a series of regulations that will include:

  • A mandatory option for Floridians to opt out of the technology companies filters.
  • Fines of $100,000 per day for any Tech companies that suspend candidates for elected office in Florida from their platforms.
  • Daily fines for Tech companies using algorithms to suppress–or prioritize–content related to a particular candidate or issue on the ballot.
  • Divestment of shares of Big Tech firms that discriminate against Republicans.

If Big Tech multinationals violate the new rules, the legislation would allow users to sue the companies more easily, as well as enable the state attorney general to act against Big Tech under the state’s Deceptive and Unfair Practices law.

“It’s high time that we step up to the plate to ensure the protection of the people and their rights,” explained the governor. 

“The network of Silicon CEOs wields extraordinary powers, to the point of holistically controlling the flow of a vast swath of information in our country,” he added. “In a matter of hours, a business can be dismantled, a community of friends and colleagues canceled, and even a sitting president of the United States, silenced.”

The popular governor with a growing national profile and support base also celebrated America’s founders and the nation’s founding principles.

“Our Founding Fathers were deliberate in the enshrinement of our rights in the Constitution to ensure that We the People were guaranteed protection against those wishing to violate our rights,” he said. “Ironically…today the Big Tech oligarchy has in many ways become a clearer and more present danger to free speech than the government itself.”

Florida Republicans are fighting against the censorship of Big Tech since it is a threat to our freedoms and our Republic. For Florida Republicans the banning of President Donald J. Trump by Twitter, where he had more than 88 million followers, was the last straw.

As a result, Governor DeSantis and several state senators and state representatives are leading a national charge against Big Tech, pushing back on what they see as tremendous abuses and violations to the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. There are many states that have Republican governors and Republican legislatures who can follow what Florida is doing.

Florida has over 22 million residents in 2021, being the third largest state in population in the nation. When multibillion-dollar tech platform Airbnb wanted to stop doing business with West Bank rental properties in Israel supporting the radical Palestinian Boycott-Divest-Sanction (BDS) movement, which critics called anti-Semitic, Florida intervened.

The state of Florida, led by Republicans in the state legislature and Governor DeSantis, told Airbnb: “Florida has a pretty clear policy: if you boycott Israel, we boycott you.” It worked. Airbnb backed down and reversed its stance on West Bank properties.

Governor DeSantis and Republican legislators get it! We cannot be silent anymore and tolerate so many abuses by Big Tech. We must demand similar action from other states.

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