Governor Ron DeSantis proposes ‘the most robust Digital Bill of Rights in the country’

2KDMD47 Sarasota, Florida, USA. 6th Nov, 2022. November 7, 2022, Sarasota, FL: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to a crowd of supporters during a re-election campaign rally. (Credit Image: © Dominic Gwinn/ZUMA Press Wire)

Photo: Alamy

Earlier this month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed his plans for a Digital Bill of Rights on his Twitter page. 

After the Twitter Files revealed evidence of mass censorship of conservative voices throughout the controversial 2020 election and beyond, freedom of speech online has become an increasingly discussed topic.

Months ago, President Trump also unveiled his own plans to support a Digital Bill of Rights if reelected on his Rumble Channel, and Forbes Magazine has advocated in favor of increased online protections. 

Gov. DeSantis has already begun ensuring online free speech protections in his state. In May 2021, he signed SB 7202, which banned Big Tech social media sites from unfairly deplatforming political candidates and media outlets, but this new Digital Bill of Rights could offer a broader spectrum of protection.

Introducing this concept, DeSantis stated in his video post, “We want to protect your right as a Floridian to have private in-person conversations without Big Tech surveilling you. If you want to consent to let them have this information so they can fashion advertising based off of it, it’s your right to consent to do so. But it should only be if you consent and they don’t have a right to have that information as a matter of first principle.”

To make this possible, he detailed four core elements of this new Bill of Rights:

  • The first will “protect the right to participate in online platforms without unfair censorship.”
  • The second would “protect the right to know how these internet engines are manipulating search results. Transparency in terms of what we’re doing so that you can evaluate whether that’s a search engine you want to use, or maybe you want to take your business elsewhere.“
  • The third principle protects the “right to control all your personal data on the largest and most common platforms. They take that personal data and they make a fortune off of your personal data. So you’re talking about Google, Facebook: just a handful of these companies. They should really get express authorization from you before they’re able to monetize that or use it in any way.” 
  • The fourth and final element of the proposed legislation would ensure that, “the Digital Bill of Rights aims to protect children from various online harms. And as we see, that’s a huge issue.” 

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