Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis keeps earning his internet-anointed title of “America’s governor,” as seen Monday during a signing ceremony for a bill the Republican said will crack down on Big Tech censorship.
The ceremony took place at Florida International University in Miami, and DeSantis took questions from the media. At one point, a Miami Herald reporter asked whether the legislation was “for” former President Donald Trump.
“You’re a loyal supporter of former President Donald Trump,” the reporter began “Donald Trump is now a resident in Florida and he was de-platformed. Is this bill for him?”
“The bill is for everyday Floridians,” Gov. DeSantis said, as supporters voiced their frustration over the question. “It’s what we said. And it would allow any Floridian to be able to provide what they’re doing.”
Taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the reporter, DeSantis criticized Big Tech for its inconsistency, which prompted Media Research Center’s Curtis Houck to describe the response as “Straight FIRE” while sharing the clip online. He would also declared that DeSantis “absolutely destroyed” the reporter.
Straight FIRE -> @GovRonDeSantis absolutely destroyed this Miami Herald reporter after she asked whether the state’s censorship law was created “for” former President Trump.
“When you deplatform [Trump] but you let Ayatollah Khamenei talk about killing Jews, that is wrong.” pic.twitter.com/afuMN8FjC2
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 24, 2021
“But I do think that’s another issue that has been brought to bear,” DeSantis told the reporter. “When you de-platform the president of the United States but let Ayatollah Khomeini talk about killing Jews, that is wrong.”
The remark drew loud cheers and a standing ovation from supporters in the room.
With no better time to make an exit, the governor thanked everyone and brought the Q&A to a close.
In a tweet promoting the bill, DeSantis said it “gives every Floridian the power to fight back against deplatforming and allows any person to sue Big Tech companies for up to $100,000 in damages.”
“Today, we level the playing field between celebrity and citizen on social media,” he added.
Florida’s Big Tech Bill gives every Floridian the power to fight back against deplatforming and allows any person to sue Big Tech companies for up to $100,000 in damages. Today, we level the playing field between celebrity and citizen on social media. https://t.co/SOW6DZZT2K
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 24, 2021
In another tweet, the governor said “Floridians are being guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley power grab on speech, thought, and content. We the people are standing up to tech totalitarianism with the signing of Florida’s Big Tech Bill.”
“We the people” was the theme of a statement DeSantis released through his office.
“This session, we took action to ensure that ‘We the People’ — real Floridians across the Sunshine State — are guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley elites,” said Gov. DeSantis. “Many in our state have experienced censorship and other tyrannical behavior firsthand in Cuba and Venezuela. If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable.”
Under SB 7072:
- All Floridians treated unfairly by Big Tech platforms will have the right to sue companies that violate this law — and win monetary damages. This reform safeguards the rights of every Floridian by requiring social media companies to be transparent about their content moderation practices and give users proper notice of changes to those policies, which prevents Big Tech bureaucrats from “moving the goalposts” to silence viewpoints they don’t like.
- The Attorney General of Florida can bring action against technology companies that violate this law, under Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. If social media platforms are found to have violated antitrust law, they will be restricted from contracting with any public entity. That “antitrust violator” blacklist imposes real consequences for Big Tech oligopolies’ bottom line.
- Big Tech is prohibited from de-platforming Floridian political candidates. The Florida Election Commission will impose fines of $250,000 per day on any social media company that de-platforms any candidate for statewide office, and $25,000 per day for de-platforming candidates for non-statewide offices. Any Floridian can block any candidate they don’t want to hear from, and that is a right that belongs to each citizen — it’s not for Big Tech companies to decide.
Much like the national media, the state media in Florida relentlessly dogs DeSantis, who, much like Trump, doesn’t suffer fools when it comes to biased reporters.
The Miami Herald is out in front of this effort in Florida to undermine the governor many see as a strong contender for the GOP presidential nominee in 2024 if Trump decides not to run.
While the media may dislike DeSantis, people on the right love him — here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:
Mic drop moment.
— HeBeGb (@gborad) May 25, 2021
Brilliant response! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
— mary (@mary51021110) May 24, 2021
— jen sundt (@theForce2023) May 25, 2021
Awesome answer. Why is our national media off the tracks?
— Harold Shanks (@harold_shanks) May 24, 2021
This guy does not miss
— Black Tradesman (@babraham1988) May 24, 2021
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