Florida governor Ron DeSantis proposes law to fine Big Tech firms who deplatform politicians

Move comes after Donald Trump was removed from Twitter and Facebook to prevent him inciting violence

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
@graemekmassie
Tuesday 02 February 2021 23:37
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<p>Florida governor proposes law to fine Big Tech firms who deplatform politicians</p>

Florida governor proposes law to fine Big Tech firms who deplatform politicians

Florida’s pro-Trump governor has proposed a new law aimed at tech companies who deplatform right-wing politicians.

Ron DeSantis says that the state will fine social media firms $100,000 a day if they ban any candidate for office in a Florida election.

The move comes after Donald Trump was thrown off Twitter and Facebook in the wake of the 6 January attack on the Capitol by his supporters.

When Mr Trump’s supporters then moved onto right-leaning Parler, the social media app’s servers were shut down by Amazon, Google and Apple.

Parler was widely used by some of the rioters who stormed the Capitol to try and prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s election win over Mr Trump.

“What began as a group of upstart technology companies from the west coast, has since transformed into an industry of monopoly communications platforms that monitor, influence, and control the flow of information in our country and among our citizens,” said Mr DeSantis.

“Used to be that consumers were trusted to make their own decisions about what information to consume, about which leaders to ‘follow,’ about what news to watch.

"Now those decisions are increasingly made by nameless, faceless boards of censors.”

Part of the lawmaker’s proposal is that if a company promotes one candidate for office against another, the value of that promotion must be recorded as a campaign contribution.

“In Florida we’re gonna take aim at those companies and pull back the veil and make sure those guys don’t continue to find loopholes and grey areas to live above the law," he added.

“Under our proposal, if a technology company deplatforms a candidate for elected office in Florida during an election, that company will face a daily fine of $100,000 until the candidate’s access to the platform is restored.”

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