Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis takes on Big Tech 'censorship' with new law

Law allows Floridians who are deplatformed to sue social media companies
Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at Florida International University in Miami on May 24, 2021.jpg
Posted at 10:06 AM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 13:23:54-04

MIAMI — Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to give Floridians more power over what he calls censorship by Big Tech companies.

The governor on Monday signed a new law at Florida International University in Miami to gives consumers more protections against social media companies.

"This reform gives every Floridian the power to fight back against Big Tech," DeSantis said.


Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at Florida International University

The new law allows Floridians who are deplatformed by tech companies to sue them. Courts may award up to $100,000 in damages, DeSantis said.

In addition, the law requires social media companies to be transparent about their content moderation practices, and they must publish detailed standards explaining how they decide whom to censor.

They also must give users proper notice of changes to those policies.

"We're the first state to hold these Big Tech companies to this standard of transparency and accountability," DeSantis said. "Their power up to this point has effectively been unchecked."

Democrats in the Florida Senate who oppose the law released this statement on Monday:

"If Republicans really cared about protecting our First Amendment rights, they would never have allowed dangerous and anti-American HB 1 to pass through the Florida Legislature and be signed into law. Instead, they’re talking out of both sides of their mouths -- muzzling protesters’ freedom of speech and right to peacefully assemble while also stripping private businesses from determining what is and is not acceptable on their own platforms. This reaction to Donald Trump’s ban from Facebook and Twitter following a dangerous disinformation campaign leading to the insurrection on January 6 is an overreach of government by the very party which claims to fight against such actions."