Florida’s DeSantis signs anti-censorship state bill

2 mins read

A baffling legislation focused on how online platforms control its content was signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday, taking a strike at Big Tech.

The said bill is considered as among the huge move so far made by a Republican governor to respond to alleged digital censorship under tech companies like Google, Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB).

Tech industry observers, however, argued that the state bill is unconstitutional as they gear to fight off the law in court.

The governor on Monday pointed fingers towards a “council of censors” in Silicon Valley for killing the discussion regarding the pandemic lockdowns and the source of the COVID-19 virus.

“I would say those lockdowns have ruined millions of people’s lives all around this country,” DeSantis aired his comments publicly. “Wouldn’t it have been good to have a full debate on that in our public square? But that was not what Silicon Valley wanted to do.”

Under the signed bill, online platforms will not be allowed to suspend a state’s political candidate. They can be fined $250, 000 daily if the politician seeks a position in the state and $25, 000 daily if the position is outside the statewide office.

Florida residents are also empowered by the said bill as they can file charges against tech firms for de-platforming.

Other US states like Oklahoma, Kentucky, Utah and Arkansas are also mulling the same legislation.

The state bill came in the light of the proposal of US lawmakers on important changes to the federal law that provides online platforms the freedom to choose items for the people to consume without legal consequences.

Democrats have attacked Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934, claiming that the platforms take advantage of the law’s immunity shield while it does little to act against attacking content. Republicans, on the other hand, think that the platforms control too much information.

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