TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis has directed Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee to investigate Facebook for alleged election interference.
The announcement follows a report by the Wall Street Journal that Facebook unfairly influences numerous state and local races by exempting certain elite users from Facebook's own rules.
"It’s no secret that Big Tech censors have long enforced their own rules inconsistently," DeSantis said Monday. "If this new report is true, Facebook has violated Florida law to put its thumb on the scale of numerous state and local races. Floridians deserve to know how much this corporate titan has influenced our elections. That is why I am directing Secretary Lee to use all legal means to uncover violations of Florida’s election laws. The thought of Facebook clandestinely manipulating elections is an affront to the basic principles of our republic. We the people have the right to choose our representatives, whether or not Silicon Valley approves."
According to documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal, Facebook subjects most users to censorship while granting select users the freedom to disregard the platform's community standards.
According to a release from the governor's press office:
"If the Wall Street Journal report is accurate, Facebook has created a privileged class of speakers and has empowered them to manipulate our elections with impunity. Even more disturbing, these elite users on Facebook's 'whitelist' were allegedly selected by the tech giant behind closed doors. The selection process, scope, and real-world influence of the whitelist is concealed from the public and known only to Facebook. If true, this process may have provided a benefit to incumbent elected politicians over their challengers in state and local elections."