MIAMI - Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that will give Floridians protection against big tech "censorship," making Florida the first state to have a law like this.
"Floridians that are de-platformed will be able to sue big tech companies for violating this law and courts may award up to $100,000 for each proven claim," DeSantis said.
The governor made this announcement from Miami on Monday.
He singled out social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter that have removed former President Donald Trump.
The law prohibits big tech companies from doing similar to Florida’s elected officials and could potentially fine them $250,000 dollars a day for censoring those who hold statewide office and $25,000 thousand a day for locals.
The governor said this bill is about protecting freedom of speech.
"On major issues that deserve robust debate, Silicon Valley is acting as a council of censors," DeSantis said. "They cancel people. When mobs come after somebody, they pull them down. They shadowban people which creates partisan echo chambers and, honestly, they are some of the major reasons this country is divided for doing what they’re doing."
Critics contend it is unconstitutional for Florida to try to regulate how businesses determine what can be posted on social media platforms. They also pointed to DeSantis making the issue a priority after his ally, former President Donald Trump, was blocked from Facebook and Twitter after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The bill, in part, will bar social-media companies from removing political candidates from the companies’ platforms. Companies that violate the prohibition could face fines of $250,000 a day for statewide candidates and $25,000 a day for other candidates.
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