(Miami) Florida Governor Ron Desantis on Monday signed into law a law that would penalize tech companies such as Twitter and Facebook for blocking the accounts of political candidates, as he did with former President Donald Trump.
Republican Party member Desantis, one of the 2024 presidential candidates, said the move was part of a “fight against censorship by big tech companies.”
“Many in our state have experienced censorship and other authoritarian behavior in Cuba and Venezuela,” he said, referring to many voters from those countries in Florida.
“If tech censors apply the rules unequally, they now have to be considered in order to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology,” he said.
Donald Trump was removed from Twitter and Facebook for his comments after his supporters stormed Capitol Hill on January 6.
La SB 7072, which comes into force from 1Is In July, platforms blocking a candidate for state-level employment will be fined up to 000 250,000 per day.
The law further allows Floridians who think tech companies are “behaving unfairly” to sue them for technical compensation.
This law can be challenged as civil rights activists feel it is contrary to the First Amendment of the Constitution on freedom of expression.
“When we talk about freedom of expression, a site is no different from a newspaper: it has the fundamental right to decide what speech is allowed and what speech is not allowed on its platform,” said Corbin Barthold of Tech Freedom Group.
“Florida is trying to force some big platforms to hold speeches that they do not agree with,” he said, calling the move “unconstitutional.”