Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vowed to take action against the “Big Tech cartel” in a morning press briefing on Tuesday, citing concerns regarding censorship, private data sharing, and “political manipulation.”
DeSantis, with the support of GOP legislators, announced a new bill that would target five Big Tech companies: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter.
“These platforms have played an increasingly decisive role in elections and have negatively impacted Americans who descend from orthodoxies favored by the Big Tech cartel,” DeSantis said.
Proposals outlined during the briefing include a requirement of notice for changes in terms of service, the ability to opt-out of targeted advertisements and content algorithms, and daily fines of $100,000 for deplatforming a political candidate in Florida. Algorithms supporting or suppressing political content would be outlawed as well.
“Big Tech looks more like Big Brother every year,” DeSantis proclaimed, “But this is 2021, not 1984, and this is real life, not George Orwell’s fiction.”
The governor’s remarks come on the heels of social media companies deplatforming former President Donald Trump in early January, as well as other high-profile conservative figures and accounts. (RELATED: STEPHEN CROWDER TO SUE FACEBOOK FOR ‘UNFAIR’ TREATMENT OF CONSERVATIVES)
DeSantis rebuked the “monopoly of communications platforms that monitor, influence, and control the flow of information in our country,” and lamented what he referred to as the “decapitation of Parler.”
Parler, which once served as the alternative to Twitter, is now essentially inoperable after having been removed from the Google Play Store, Apple’s App Store, and Amazon’s web hosting services.
“You don’t like Parler, don’t read it,” the governor opined.
Furthermore, DeSantis mentioned other forms of what he describes as manipulation during the 2020 election. “You can look no further than the last several months of the election as coordinated, calculated efforts were undertaken to advance an increasingly evident political agenda of the Big Tech companies.” He pointed to Twitter’s censoring of the New York Post story on Hunter Biden, saying, “obviously they wanted to beat Trump.”
The new legislation would ease the ability for both private citizens and the Attorney General in Florida to seek legal action against the companies.