A social media platform will pay up to $250,000 per day if it bans a candidate for office.
On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that punishes tech companies for banning users because of their content.
SB 7072 Banning Social media Platforms
Also known as SB 7072, the bill prohibits a social media platform from de-platforming political candidates in Florida.
If the candidate is running for a statewide office and the site de-platforms the candidate, the Florida Election Commission could fine the company $250,000 per day.
But the bill isn’t only for political candidates.
It is also for online users living in Florida. They can sue big tech firms if they think that the platforms violated the said law.
The bill will allow them to contest the company and win up to $100,000 in statutory damages.
“Today, Floridians are being guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley power grab on speech, thought, and content. We the people are standing up to tech totalitarianism with the signing of Florida’s Big Tech Bill.”
The bill will take effect on July 1.
This is the first state-level bill in the US designed to fight anti-conservative bias online.
Some Republicans think that social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, are censoring right-wing voices.
Even when Donald Trump was still the POTUS, Twitter, Facebook, and other major social media companies banned him.
Are Tech Companies Anti-Republicans?
When the New York Post story about Hunter Biden came out, Twitter blocked the infamous story without explaining. Some conservatives perceived it as arbitrary enforcement of its policies.
However, statistics show that conservative content actually dominates the Internet. The content that has been flagged was the result of misinformation.
Fake news spreaders are the real culprits here and not those Republicans.
Far-right extremists used various Internet platforms to spread lies and these platforms allowed them because of a lack of enforcement.
Even though conservative lawmakers are saying that right-leaning content is always censored, it’s actually the antithesis. Conservative content is abundant online and it dominates the scene.
For instance, top-performing posts on Facebook are from conservative figures. The findings refute conservative claims that these platforms are silencing their voices.
While conservative lawmakers are accusing tech platforms of censoring their voices, Democrats want greater oversight. They argued that these platforms failed to crack down on misinformation.
Where the Idea of the Bill Came from?
The idea was inspired by Twitter’s action when it suspended former President Donald Trump after the Capitol riots. The bill is a sign that Floridians don’t want to stand for tech companies’ shenanigans.
However, Democrats dismissed the bill.
For them, this bill is a retaliation effort of Florida Republicans. They were against social media sites banning the former presidential administration.
Tech companies believe that this bill will take us closer to a state-run Internet.
It means that government can pick the winners and the losers. But the First Amendment prevents the government from controlling speech on private websites.