Florida Republicans are pushing back at social media and big tech through proposed legislation that will allow the state's attorney general to sue big tech companies and push back on those found to be inconsistent with their standards, state House Speaker Chris Sprowls tells Newsmax TV.
"The bill that we rolled out, myself, Gov. (Ron) DeSantis, and Republican leaders here in the Florida legislature first acknowledges one really important fact, that is, social media has become the town square where people go to share their ideas and share their beliefs," the Republican lawmaker told Newsmax TV's "Rob Schmitt Tonight."
However, the "five families of big tech" have engaged in censorship through "platform shadowbanning with secret algorithms that are not disclosed to the public" and with "inconsistent standards that are inconsistently applied," he added,
"There might be one rule for American businesses or American politicians and other rules for the ayatollah" said Sprowls.
The proposed legislation will mandate that tech companies must disclose what their rules and algorithms are so that Florida residents can opt out of allowing them to manage their content, he explained.
"If you inconsistently apply those standards that are properly disclosed, it creates a cause of action from the user against big tech," he said. "It also allows the attorney general, under our Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, to sue big tech."
Sprowls added that big tech companies don't want to be public about their rules and practices because "they want to pick and choose which ideas they like, and which political views they like, and they can use them with impunity."
But this means that one day the sites can shut down a politician they don't like, but then the next day block a business over its owner's views, he said.
Big tech's means to hurt businesses and people is "absolutely unlimited," Sprowls said, but until the Florida lawmakers and governor rolled out their bill, there was no formal mechanism states could use to push back.
"If you try to shut down speech, if you try to shut down commerce, we're going to come with the force of the law to push back," said Sprowls.
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