Florida is working to pass one of the toughest laws in the country that would permanently prohibit Big Tech companies from “deplatforming” Floridians on social media.
The state legislature overwhelmingly voted last week to advance Senate Bill 7072 that would criminalize the banning or removal of any Florida political candidate. The sweeping crackdown on Big Tech censorship passed in the House by a 77-38 vote and in the Senate with 23-17.
According to the latest version of the bill, social media companies who violate the legislation would be subject to a daily fine of $250,000 for the deplatforming of any statewide candidate for public office. The original fine was limited to $100,000 in the Senate-version of the bill which was later raised in an amendment passed by the House.
If companies continue to remove or ban political candidates, they would be subject to an additional $25,000 fine for each local political candidate who is deplatformed.
However, fines would not apply in the event of temporary 14-day suspensions.
‘This bill is not about President Trump,” Republican State Representative John Snyder said to critics who belittle the bill to retaliation against tech companies who banned the former president. “This bill is about the 22 million Floridians and their First Amendment rights.”
“What this bill is about is sending a loud message to Silicon Valley that they are not the absolute arbiters of truth,” GOP state Rep. John Snyder reportedly said on Wednesday. “What this bill does is send a loud message that the Constitution does not have an asterisk that says only certain speech is free and protected.”
Florida’s state legislature’s measure to place limitations on Big Tech censorship comes after Governor Ron DeSantis first introduced the idea of imposing fines on social media companies who ban or remove political candidates during a West Palm Beach speech in February.
The current version of the bill is on its way back to the Florida Senate to approve the House’s amendments before it is sent to the governor’s desk.