MIAMI, FL (LOOTPRESS) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, standing behind a podium adorned with the phrase “STOP BIG TECH CENSORSHIP,” announced his signing of SB7072, a Social Media Platform protection bill that protects Floridians from de-platforming, censorship, and banning by granting the ability to sue Social Media Companies.
“We’re here today to sign legislation that we have worked very hard on, these legislators worked very hard on, and really Florida is the trailblazer, yet again, on another issue that’s really important to not just millions of Floridians but tens of millions of Americans.”
This bill allows the State of Florida to sue for damages up to $250,000 for the de-platforming of a state-wide political candidate. In addition, the state can sue for up to $25,000 for local and municipal candidates who are banned from the platform.
DeSantis also stressed that the bill applies not only to political candidates but also to individuals in the state. Expressing his frustration for what he called “the proverbial Big Brother,” DeSantis stated, “When you de-platform the president of the United States, but you let Ayatollah Khamenei talk about killing Jews, that is wrong.”
In West Virginia, similar legislation passed in the West Virginia House of Delegates but was unsuccessful in completing the legislative process within the 60-day window of the legislative session.
HB3307, the “Social Media Integrity and Anti-Corruption in Elections Act,” introduced by Delegate Daniel Linville (R-Cabell). Linville spoke on the floor of the West Virginia House of Delegates on March 31st, 2021, saying, “Given the rise of social media and its corresponding influence on West Virginia voter information, now is the time for us to ensure that social media platforms who choose to participate in our state elections do so fairly accurately and with accountability.”
Opponents of both the Florida and West Virginia bills have accused both of violating the First Amendment rights of social media companies and would breach any user agreement entered into by the user when their respective accounts were created.
Delegate Shawn Fluharty (D-Ohio) said, “Hopefully Facebook will just delete West Virginia because I think that’s where you guys all go to get these ideas for legislation like this.”
The measure passed the West Virginia House of Delegates (72-28) but died without consideration in the Senate judiciary committee.
Conservative advocates, including Former President Donald Trump, have called on Congress to take action on this issue.
Gov. DeSantis quipped, “Florida may be the first, but Florida will not be the last!”