Florida Governor Ron DeSantis implemented a law on Monday allowing Floridians to take action against Big Tech companies who censor them based on political ideology.
DeSantis signed Senate Bill 7072, alongside recently-censored Project Veritas Founder James O’Keefe, during a ceremony held at Florida International University in Miami.
A news release published by the governor’s office states the bill intends “to hold Big Tech accountable by driving transparency and safeguarding Floridians’ ability to access and participate in online platforms.”
Under the law, any Floridian “treated unfairly” by Big Tech companies “will have the right to sue” platforms who de-platform them and “win monetary damages” of up to $100,000.
Social media companies will be required to provide users “proper notice” of content moderation policy changes to prevent bureaucrats from moving goalposts on unknowing users.
The Attorney General of Florida will also have the power to bring legal action against Big Tech companies who violate the law. If a platform is deemed as an “antitrust violator”, it could face contracting restrictions and other consequences.
The most significant change SB 7072 makes is prohibiting Big Tech from de-platforming Floridian political candidates. If companies remove a Florida candidate running for statewide office, they will be subject to a fine of $250,000 per day. De-platforming a non-statewide candidate will result in a $25,000 fine per day.
DeSantis celebrated Florida becoming the “first state to hold Big Tech accountable” with the legislation which takes effect on July 1. Platforms will be required “to publish detailed standards and to apply them fairly,” the governor stated.
“Social media companies will no longer be able to hide behind vague language as to why they censored a Floridian’s post,” said DeSantis.
As Florida’s legislation is the first in the nation to take sweeping action against Big Tech companies who routinely silence Americans based on their political beliefs, it could serve as a blueprint for other states to follow.