Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) came out swinging at social media censorship and journalists clamoring for more of it at a press conference Tuesday, where he announced a major initiative to combat Big Tech, Breitbart reported.
In one exchange, the Florida governor rebuked the press for defending the media’s cover-up of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal that exploded before the election.
DeSantis calls out media
DeSantis announced legislation to protect Floridians from the “Big Tech cartel,” which he said had transformed from “neutral platforms” to “enforcers of preferred narratives.”
Later, in a combative Q & A, the governor pushed back on journalists who suggested that Big Tech censorship is benign “content moderation,” a term that DeSantis said is a euphemism for political interference by “nameless, faceless” entities.
DeSantis mentioned several examples of arbitrary conduct by Big Tech, including its suppression of the New York Post’s reporting about Hunter Biden’s business deals, which blew up weeks before the November election. He recounted how “corporate media” colluded with Big Tech to quash a legitimate news story, simply because “they wanted to beat Trump.”
“You’re trying to tell me if there was hacked information that could damage me, you guys wouldn’t print it?… You can whiz on my leg, but don’t tell me it’s raining. You guys would print it every single day if you could, and Big Tech would allow it to proliferate every single day, 24/7.”
Gov. DeSantis calls out journalists defending big tech censorship of the Hunter Biden story:
“You’re trying to tell me if there was hacked information that could damage me, you wouldn’t print it?… You can whiz on my leg, but don’t tell me it’s raining.”pic.twitter.com/jrepVdOYL1
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 2, 2021
DeSantis vows action
At the time, Biden’s allies dismissed the Hunter Biden story, without any basis, as “Russian disinformation.” Then, after the election, Hunter revealed that his taxes were under investigation.
But Big Tech has allowed actual disinformation to propagate freely for years, DeSantis noted: “Nancy Pelosi said the election was taken from us by Russia. Did any of those people get de-platformed?”
Censorship increased sharply after the election when Twitter banned Donald Trump before his presidency ended. DeSantis mentioned the ban and Amazon pulling the plug on Parler, warning that Big Tech plays a “decisive role” in elections and poses an even greater threat to free speech than the government.
He vowed to take action against Big Tech’s monopoly power in three areas — speech, privacy, and the fairness of elections — by allowing users to “opt out” of censorious algorithms and fining companies that de-platform political candidates, among other measures.
“Big tech has come to look more like Big Brother with each passing day,” he said. “I’m committed to addressing what may be one of the most pervasive threats to American self-government in the 21st century.”