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Newly-passed law allows Floridians who are 'de-platformed' by big tech companies to sue

Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at Florida International University in Miami on May 24, 2021.jpg
Posted at 7:57 AM, May 25, 2021

MIAMI — Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to give Floridians more power over what he calls "censorship" by big technology companies.

The governor on Monday signed a new law at Florida International University in Miami that aims to give consumers more protection against social media companies.

"This reform gives every Floridian the power to fight back against big tech," DeSantis said.

The new law allows Floridians who are "de-platformed" by tech companies to sue them. Courts may award up to $100,000 in damages, DeSantis said.

In addition, the law requires social media companies to be transparent about their content moderation practices, and they must publish detailed standards explaining how they decide whom to censor.

They also must give users proper notice of changes to those policies.

"We're the first state to hold these big tech companies to this standard of transparency and accountability," DeSantis said. "Their power up to this point has effectively been unchecked."

In a statement released Monday, Democrats in the Florida Senate called the bill "dangerous" and "anti-American," noting that DeSantis earlier this year signed a bill that increases punishments for crimes committed during protests.

Democrats also claimed the bill is in service of former President Donald Trump — a Florida resident who was de-platformed by several social media sites in January following the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

"This reaction to Donald Trump’s ban from Facebook and Twitter following a dangerous disinformation campaign leading to the insurrection on January 6 is an overreach of government by the very party which claims to fight against such actions," the group said in a statement on Monday.

This story was originally published by Matt Papaycik on Scripps station WPTV in Palm Beach, Florida.