Legislation punishing big tech clears Florida senate

Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 4:51 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAP NEWS/WCJB) - The Florida Senate passed legislation requiring social media companies to publish standards for use and abide by them when it comes to de-platforming users Monday.

The legislation carries heavy fines and the threat of lawsuits.

Big Tech platforms face $100,000 a day fines if they de-platform a statewide candidates and $10,000 a day for other candidates.

In 2018, Matt Caldwell, the losing candidate for Florida Agriculture Commissioner was de-platformed for his pro NRA ad which YouTube removed for almost a day.

“They were able to take a whole segment of free press away, saying we don’t want to hear those words; we don’t want top hear that speech. And we’re going to de-platform you. This bill fixes that,” said Senator Kelli Stargel.

The Senate version allows the state or individuals to sue.

RELATED STORY: Big-Tech Censorship Bill Clears Second Committee

Democrats voted no.

“We’re not going to allow social media platforms to block offensive, hate mongering, insurrection supporting messaging,” said Senator Gary Farmer.

The minority was joined by St. Petersburg Republican Jeff Brandes.

“This is a bill we could see in countries we don’t want to talk about,” said Senator Brandes. “We can’t have 50 different states with 50 different laws on what you can post. It isn’t going to work.”

But in the end, the sponsor said the bill is about one thing.

“The bill requires the companies to define the behavior that will lead to you being de-platformed. And that’s it,” said Senator Ray Rodrigues.

Under the legislation, companies could only change their terms of service every 30 days.

The House isn’t likely to accept the bill passed by the Senate as-is, but what changes the House wants isn’t clear.

The Sponsor is playing his cards close to the vest.

“You know, we may make some edits to it and send it back to the Senate. I think that’s the plan right now,” said Representative Blaise Ingoglia.

There’s little doubt the legislation will pass in some form, but the question is how strong will it be as lawmakers enter the final week of the session.

Under the legislation, companies could only change their terms of service every 30 days.

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