Bill To Fight Big Tech Censorship Advances In Florida Senate

A picture taken on September 4, 2019 shows logos of US social networking websites Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, displayed on smart-phone screen, in Lille, northern France. (Photo by Denis Charlet / AFP) (Photo credit should read DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images)

Big Tech has been attacking conservative ideology for quite some time now and it’s only getting worse. The Florida Senate recently advanced legislation that would require social media companies to publish the standards they use and define the behavior when it comes to de-platforming users. It passed in the Republican-controlled Senate by a vote of 22-17 and will now go to the House of Representatives. This will be one of the many laws used to combat Big Tech censorship of right-wing political candidates and conservative social media users.

“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,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said from the Cabinet Meeting Room.

Gov. DeSantis vowed to take an aim at these companies and “pull back the veil” to make sure they don’t find loopholes and grey areas to live above the law. He talked about how Big Tech have used their design algorithms and manipulated news content pages to give an upper hand to the candidates of their choice, adding that free promotion for the people they like should be recorded as a political campaign contribution.

The new legislation would slap heavy fines on tech companies for de-platforming political candidates, including up to $100,000 a day for de-platforming statewide candidates and $10,000 a day for other candidates. Sponsors of the bill brought up the case of Matt Caldwell, the losing 2018 candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner, who was de-platformed for her pro-NRA ad which Youtube removed for almost a day. The Senate version of the bill would allow either the state or individual to sue tech companies.

“They were able to take a whole segment of the free press away, saying: we don’t want to hear those words. we don’t want to hear that speech and we’re going to de-platform you. This bill fixes that,” State Sen. Kelli Stargel said.

Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty also introduced legislation to promote the principle of free speech after Big Tech companies censored numerous articles published by The New York Post and The Daily Mail. Big Tech platforms spent months censoring and suppressing stories regarding President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, and a laptop that was seized by the FBI regarding foreign business affairs.

Sen. Hagerty introduced the 21st Century FREE Speech Act to stop social media companies from being able to declare themselves as “common carriers,” as well as require transparency in their practices and repeal immunity for most third-party content. He said the First Amendment principles, which limit government restrictions on free speech, should also apply to Big Tech.

“Americans today communicate and consume information using dominant, ubiquitous technology platforms that function as common carriers. Yet, instead of being accountable to the people, this public square is owned by Big Tech corporations that use opaque, inconsistent practices to control the information presented to and discussed by the American people,” Sen. Hagerty said.

Sen. Josh Hawley also introduced the Bust Up Big Tech Act, which would ban companies from marketing their own retail goods alongside those of other sellers or provide online hosting/cloud services to their competitors.

Big Tech has been given a mass amount of power by Washington politicians and has used that to censor the opinions they don’t agree with and shut out the competitors they don’t like. It’s time to strip the immunity that Big Tech companies hide behind and restore power back to the American consumers.