Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is making it clear that the big tech censorship brought upon conservatives by California social media giants isn’t going to go unanswered and that he’s now making their actions his number one issue.
As first highlighted by the Daily Wire, DeSantis spoke in Austin Texas as a keynote speaker at a luncheon hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
“You have a situation wherein the election I was very disturbed to see credible articles about Hunter Biden actively suppressed by these big tech oligarchs in a way that I think absolutely had an impact on the presidential election,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis made it clear that what big tech did was effectively election interference through suppression of information, and called the blatant censorship “really, really chilling.” He also said that while the banning of Donald Trump from Twitter worried him, what worries him, even more, is the complete elimination of Parler:
“Now, what Twitter did to the president, he’s the president of the United States, that’s obviously a big deal and I don’t want to minimize that, but I can tell you what really bothered me was how they decapitated this company Parler,” DeSantis said. “You have this, you’d always say, ‘Hey, it’s a market, you don’t like Twitter, create your own competitor.’ Well, they did that and then what happened when it came time, when Parler was gaining all these users—because people understood that Twitter was censoring conservative speech and basically siding with the incoming administration against the outgoing—people started taking their business there.”
“And so what did they do? Not only did Apple drop them. Not only did you have other things, they took them off the webserver from Amazon,” DeSantis continued. “The lawyers quit. They couldn’t even do this. This was a coordinated assault on a company that was trying to compete and so I think about that and say, okay, if they can do that, that means the big tech oligarchy is in some ways, in many ways, more powerful than the government itself. You’re serving as judge, jury, and executioner with no due process and you could effectively wipe someone’s livelihood right off the map. I mean, just think about someone that has a business where they use the internet, they sell things, and social media to advertise, and they have text messaging and email and all this stuff and then they were at a Trump rally six months ago and that upsets some woke staffers at Facebook or one of these tech companies and so then they say we’ve got to silence this person and so then the social media does it and then they take away their texts and then they take away their email.”
DeSantis brought up the fact that there is no due process for those whose existence might be completely ruined at the whim of a big tech company and that this kind of power has to be checked.
“I’m not going to accept that and I don’t think any of you are going to accept that,” said DeSantis. “So, we’re thinking through what we can do to provide people some protections.”
DeSantis warned Texans that this problem could get far worse if nothing is done.
“What’s to stop them in October of 2022, they coming into Texas and saying they don’t like one of the candidates, and they’re just going to deplatform them off everything,” said DeSantis. “What would the recourse be? I’m not sure there’s any recourse right now under law, even if there was, by the time you sued it wouldn’t be done, it wouldn’t make much of a difference and so, they have really opened I think Pandora’s Box on this.”
The Florida Governor said that his state is taking action and that Texas should follow suit.
“And so, we’re going to take action, I think you’re going to see Texas want to take action,” DeSantis said. “So, we’re thinking very, very deeply about this. I think it’s probably the most important legislative issue that we’re going to have to get right this year and next year in Florida.”