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DeSantis signs bill banning social media ‘de-platforming’

Posted at 11:32 AM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 14:56:05-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill limiting the restrictions social media companies are allowed to place on individuals during a press conference in Miami Monday.

Senate Bill 7072 aims to hold Big Tech accountable by driving transparency and safeguarding Floridians’ ability to access and participate in online platforms.

The bill requires companies to publish censorship, de-platforming, and shadow ban standards. It also protects against the removal of politicians from any social media platform and opens the companies up to fines for doing so.

“This session, we took action to ensure that ‘We the People,' real Floridians across the Sunshine State, are guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley elites,” said DeSantis. “Many in our state have experienced censorship and other tyrannical behavior firsthand in Cuba and Venezuela. If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable.”

Critics have labeled the "Donald Trump Bill" as it seems to be a direct response to his de-platforming following the Capitol insurrection. While the language sounds tough, legal experts don’t think it’ll survive a legal challenge.

Under SB 7072:

  • All Floridians treated unfairly by Big Tech platforms will have the right to sue companies that violate this law — and win monetary damages. This reform safeguards the rights of every Floridian by requiring social media companies to be transparent about their content moderation practices and give users proper notice of changes to those policies, which prevents Big Tech bureaucrats from “moving the goalposts” to silence viewpoints they don’t like.
  • The Attorney General of Florida can bring action against technology companies that violate this law, under Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. If social media platforms are found to have violated antitrust law, they will be restricted from contracting with any public entity. That “antitrust violator” blacklist imposes real consequences for Big Tech oligopolies’ bottom line.
  • Big Tech is prohibited from de-platforming Floridian political candidates. The Florida Election Commission will impose fines of $250,000 per day on any social media company that de-platforms any candidate for statewide office, and $25,000 per day for de-platforming candidates for non-statewide offices. Any Floridian can block any candidate they don’t want to hear from, and that is a right that belongs to each citizen — it's not for Big Tech companies to decide.

The full text of Senate Bill 7072 is by clicking here.