Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) not only shares the same view as former President Donald Trump on a number of hot political topics, but he’s also taking action on them, which is likely why the Republican governor is surging in popularity.
According to the Washington Examiner, DeSantis recently received a standing ovation in a room full of voters after a reporter questioned him about his recent signing of a bill that prohibits social media platforms from banning politicians.
During a press conference with regard to the recently signed legislation, known as “Florida’s Big Tech Bill,” DeSantis was asked by a reporter if the bill was specifically put into law for Trump, given that the former president is now a permanent resident of Florida.
“The bill is for everyday Floridians,” DeSantis said, which elicited chuckles from the audience. “This is what we said. And it would allow any Floridian to be able to provide what they’re doing.”
“I do think that’s another issue that has been brought to bear. When you de-platform the president of the United States but you let Ayatollah Khomeini talk about killing Jews, that is wrong,” the Republican governor said, causing his supporters in the room to cheer loudly.
“When you de-platform the President of the United States but you let Ayatollah Khomeini talk about killing Jews– that is wrong.”@RonDeSantisFL received a standing ovation after he was asked if the state’s Big Tech de-platforming law was “for” former President Donald Trump. pic.twitter.com/UvoPmxz4Eu
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 25, 2021
Making the moment even sweeter for his supporters, the governor ended the press conference immediately after that statement, serving as what many labeled as a “mic drop” moment.
What does the bill mean?
Social media companies have enjoyed liability protection since their inception, as on a federal level, they’re covered by what’s known as “Section 230.” But on a state level, that’s beginning to change, as DeSantis’ bill will seek to financially punish social media platforms if they keep playing as dirty as they did in the 2016 election and especially the lead-up to the 2020 election.
For instance, if a social media company de-platforms a statewide candidate for office, it can be fined at a rate of $250,000 per day. If they de-platform a local-level candidate, a fine of $25,000 per day will occur. The bill also allows the Florida attorney general to take legal action against an offending company, according to Fox Business.
Not surprisingly, some groups are already speaking out about the landmark bill, labeling it unconstitutional while suggesting it could lead to dangerous content being published on social media platforms.
“This bill abandons conservative values, violates the First Amendment, and would force websites to host antisemitic, racist, and hateful content,” said Carl Szabo, vice president of trade group NetChoice.
However, a quick glance through social media feeds revealed that conservatives across the country strongly support DeSantis’s bill, as it marks the first meaningful step in fighting back against the incessant and unfair level of power that social media platforms have amassed over the years.