Florida Republican legislators are currently pushing back against Big Tech, introducing legislation and pressuring Governor De Santis to take decisive action.
Following the protests at the Capitol, Big Tech companies, notably Twitter, started taking action against conservatives, supporters of President Trump, and President Trump himself, including mass bans and censorship on their platforms. Parler, the free speech social media app, was also taken off of Amazon Web Service’s servers after the company claimed that violent content was allowed to spread on their platform.
However, State Representatives in Florida, buoyed by the action taken by Big Tech, are now pushing back against the corporations.
State Rep Anthony Sabatini, known as one of the most America First legislators in the state, introduced Florida HB 33, known as the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act,” which would “allow for a state cause of action (lawsuit) against large social media companies that censor user’s content.”
Any social media site with over 75 million users who deleted the “political or religious” speech of a user, could be sued for damages, a minimum of $75,000 per deleted post, or other forms of relief, and may not use the defence of alleged” hate speech of the user at trial. Speaking exclusively to National File, Rep Sabatini said that this bill will “stop Big Tech from eliminating the public square and choking out conservatives.”
Florida State Representative Randy Fine has been pushing a different tack to fight against Big Tech, in that he has called on Governor Ron De Santis to cut off Floridian taxpayer dollars from going to these companies.
Fine said he was “deeply disturbed to see the country’s major technology companies use the actions of [the Capitol protestors] as a pretext to silence tens of millions of good, patriotic Americans, millions of whom live here in Florida”:
If the President of the United States can be silenced by these companies, then so can anyone. It is clear that Twitter and Facebook are engaged in one-sided viewpoint discrimination targeting conservatives. These companies allow actual terrorists around the world to use their platforms to target America, Americans, and our allies, without much as a peep. And it is not disputed that Amazon, Apple, and Google are actively working to eliminate any alternative outlets where conservatives can speak freely. While I do not dispute that as, as private companies, it is within their rights to choose who to do business with, it is also our right as a state to determine which companies in which we wish to invest… Florida taxpayers should not be forced to do business with entities that censor them.
Fine said that he would be further introducing legislation to stop any state or local government within Florida from conducting business with them. This would include a ban on advertising on Facebook or Twitter, no usage of Amazon for shipping parcels or any other purpose, and also a ban on government-issued iPhones or Androids. “They may get to decide who they do business with,” Fine said. “So do we.”
This morning I asked the Governor and Cabinet to divest the state from Amazon, Twitter, Apple, Google, and Facebook. They may get to decide who they do business with. So do we. @Fla_Pol pic.twitter.com/QfoUhghgnP
— Randy Fine (@VoteRandyFine) January 12, 2021