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Florida has attacked Facebook hard to quell conservative voices

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a law called the Big Tech Act that seeks to regulate large tech companies that routinely violate free speech and prohibit or suppress dissenting voices, who are usually right-wing and conservative.

SB No. 70720 Law It was brought up in front of local lawmakers in February, shortly after Facebook and Twitter banned former US President Donald Trump from its pages. The most important element of the law is the ban on banning Florida politicians from social media who run for the presidency or congressional elections next year.

The law authorizes the Florida Electoral Commission to punish technology companies for this violation: the penalty can be up to $ 250,000 per day for a statewide politician or up to $ 25,000 per day for a politician at the municipal level.

But Florida lawmakers have gone further, stating that Facebook and Twitter should not alter different political opinions to their liking, even if they are not politicians but ordinary citizens. Accordingly, the law allows people to sue companies more easily if they feel that the social site has inappropriately deleted or blocked their content due to their purely political views.

Source: Network of Action

In addition, the law requires Facebook and Twitter to allow users to “log out” of the content management system that is managed by various secret algorithms. In fact, it is about how the two big social sites are organized in an almost opaque and arbitrarily fashion, the number of people whose content is conveyed by different politicians and users, and if something does not meet liberal standards, then accessing that content in an invisible way is “relaxed.”

But the law provides similar guarantees for journalists as well as for those who engage in journalistic activities.

“All over the United States, we see left-wing media and large corporations attempt to silence, intimidate and erase voices that do not agree with them. Now, with the age of SB 7072, Florida is regaining a virtual public space where information and ideas can flow freely.” Governor Ron Desantes said.

Of course, tech companies don’t like that

After the governor’s signature of the law was revealed, two major corporations filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida, asking the court to prevent it from coming into effect.

Organizations that pool companies like Facebook, Intel, Samsung, or even Google say the law is clearly unconstitutional and limits freedoms granted to private companies under the First Amendment.

Ron DeSantis, Governor of FloridaSource: Agence France-Presse / Saul Loeb

Organizations complain that technology companies will thus not be able to control user content that violates the terms of use or is likely to harm their business, for example by blocking potential advertisers.

Obviously, they do not address the fact that often it is not at all clear why they are deleting someone or restricting access to the content.

In the lawsuit, the organizations say the Florida legislature and Governor DeSantis designed the law specifically to punish only those with whom principles of moderation differ.

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