(Miami) On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law imposing fines on tech companies like Twitter and Facebook if they ban political candidates’ accounts, as they did with former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis, a Republican considered a potential presidential candidate for 2024, said the move was part of “fighting oversight over major tech companies.”
“A lot in our state suffered from censorship and authoritarian behavior in Cuba and Venezuela,” he said, referring to many voters from those two countries in Florida.
“If technology watchers apply the rules unevenly, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now have to hold them accountable,” he added.
Donald Trump was kicked out of Twitter and Facebook for his comments after his supporters invaded Capitol Hill on January 6.
Law SB 7072, which comes into force in 1he is July, it stipulates fines of up to $ 250,000 per day for platforms banning a statewide job candidate.
The law also allows Florida residents who feel “unfairly treated” by technology companies to sue them for monetary compensation.
The law can be challenged, as civil rights activists consider it to be inconsistent with the First Amendment to the Constitution on freedom of expression.
“When we talk about freedom of expression, the website is no different from the newspaper: it has the primary right to decide which speech will be allowed and which speech will not be allowed on its platform,” says Corbyn Barthold, of the TechFreedom Group.
He adds that “Florida is trying to force some large platforms to host letters that would not accept them otherwise,” considering the measure “unconstitutional.”
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