Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said his state is going to take action against social media companies for their acts of ongoing censorship.
DeSantis told guests at a luncheon hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation that what tech companies are doing to suppress free speech is “really, really chilling.”
He left no doubt about his anger at Twitter over its suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop cover-up and the media giant’s expulsion of President Donald Trump from its platform.
“You have a situation where in 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,” he told a legislative policy conference in Austin, Texas, last week.
“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,” the Daily Wire reported.
“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.
“So, I think that there needs to be protections for people, I don’t think we can have a couple of these far-left-wing tech oligarchs control the flow of information in our country. I’m not going to accept that and I don’t think any of you are going to accept that.
“So, we’re thinking through what we can do to provide people some protections. But, just think about, when you’re doing a campaign, you’re sending emails out, you’re doing text messaging, you’re obviously doing social media, you do all these things. 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. 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.”