Florida Declares War on Big Tech

The Governor of Florida is putting big tech on notice, announcing a series of new regulations designed to stop the censorship of political candidates. He is also instituting mandatory opt-opts of content filters for Florida residents.

It’s called the Transparency in Technology Act and it is being hailed as the largest and most aggressive attempt to address the problem of big tech censorship.

Governor Ron DeSantis spoke for 45 minutes outside the Florida State Capitol on Tuesday. “Today, they may come after someone who looks like me,” he said. “Tomorrow they may come after someone that looks like you.”

A Big Tech “Cartel”

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DeSantis accused big tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter of being Silicon Valley “oligarchs” and argued that they represent the biggest threat to American democracy and freedom of expression.

“What began as a group of upstart companies from the West coast has since transformed into an industry of monopoly communications platform that monitor, influence, and control the flow of information in our country and among our citizens, and they do this to an extent hitherto unimaginable,” said DeSantis.

The Florida Governor also accused the tech companies of being a “cartel” stating that, “These platforms have changed from neutral platforms that provided Americans with the freedom to speak to enforcers of preferred narratives.”

As such, Florida is introducing a series of regulations that will include:

  • A mandatory option for Floridians to opt of of the technology companies filters.

  • Fines of $100,000 per day for any tech companies that suspend candidates for elected office in Florida from their platforms.

  • Daily fines for tech companies using algorithms to suppress–or prioritize–content related to a particular candidate or issue on the ballot.

If the tech companies violate the new rules, the legislation would allow users to more easily sue the companies, as well as enable the Attorney General to seek against against big tech under the state’s Deceptive and Unfair Practices law.

Shares of Facebook, Alphabet, and Twitter all in focus in Wednesday’s session. All three stock closed higher on the day, with the overall markets moving up more than 1%. Alphabet reporting massive quarterly earnings after Tuesday’s closing bell, beating Wall Street estimates for both earnings and revenue.

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