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DeSantis Breaks Down Florida's Three-Pronged Counterattack on Big Tech

By A. Kim | March 1, 2021 | 4:46pm EST
Ron DeSantis speaks during a rally with former President Donald Trump. (Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Ron DeSantis speaks during a rally with former President Donald Trump. (Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

As conservatives continue to be censored across social media platforms, “Big Tech is now one of the most powerful anti-speech entities,” Fox News host Mark Levin told Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sunday's "Life, Liberty & Levin."

DeSantis outlined Florida’s plan to hold Big Tech companies accountable across three different sectors: data privacy, election interference, and legal recourse under the state's consumer fraud statute.

“Our country cannot allow the terms of the debate to be set by leftist oligarchs in Silicon Valley” he contended. "They’re exercising powers in a monopoly fashion that are more robust than any of the powers exercised by the trusts at the turn of the 20th century...and so in Florida, we’re leading the charge from the state level. I think other states are going to follow us."

Below is a full transcript of the segment:

Mark Levin: Big Tech is now one of the most powerful anti-speech entities in the world, repressing speech based on content, repressing speech based on the viewpoint, mostly conservatives and Republicans. You, as governor, you’ve watched this and you’ve decided to take some actions. What exactly are you doing in Florida?

Gov. Ron DeSantis: Well Mark, our country cannot allow the terms of the debate to be set by leftist oligarchs in Silicon Valley. That is totally unacceptable. So we’re really tackling it on three different areas. One is data privacy and personal privacy. You have a phone, even if you’re not using it, they’re always pulling data from that, they sell the data, they make hundreds of billions of dollars doing that. We think individuals should be able to opt out of that process. You buy a phone, you pay your money for it, and you can use it, but they shouldn’t be able to monetize indefinitely off your use.

Also, election interference -- we saw with what they did with the Hunter Biden story by suppressing it. Obviously we saw what they did with President Trump, so we have penalties if they de-platform a candidate for office and then they're doing things like suppressing or elevating for a particular candidate, that’s an in-kind contribution. And Mark, if you had a party for me at your house, we’d have to document how much money you paid for food and all this stuff because that’d be considered a contribution, but yet they could do all this stuff to help their candidates and that's just something that escapes scrutiny - doesn’t make sense.

Then finally, we want the average citizen to be able to have recourse if they’re deplatformed or if they’re censored. And so we’re providing a way to sue Big Tech under our consumer fraud statute in Florida and I think it fits because Big Tech will market themselves as being about open debate, but they’re constantly changing their terms of service in ways that really escape any rational person’s ability to understand what’s going on. So we think that that’ll be an important check. But if you look, the power that they can have, to not just silence you off like Twitter, but to wipe you off email or text messages or all these other things, they’re exercising powers in a monopoly fashion that are more robust than any of the powers exercised by the trusts at the turn of the 20th century, and so I think this is an important issue for our time and I think conservatives need to be leading on this. And so in Florida, we’re leading the charge from the state level. I think other states are going to follow us, but clearly the status quo is unacceptable. 

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