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Florida vs. Big Tech: Gov. DeSantis Doubles Down On Protecting Floridians From Big Tech Censorship

Florida vs. Big Tech: Gov. DeSantis Doubles Down On Protecting Floridians From Big Tech Censorship

“These platforms have changed from neutral platforms that provided Americans with the freedom to speak to enforcers of preferred narratives”

As a small government Constitutional conservative, it is with no small degree of irony that I note my growing sense that we may very well need some government intervention to disempower Big Tech and its governing partisan ideology that has driven a singular and biased stranglehold on the internet’s conservative voices.

It’s been coming for a while, of course. Still, even those of us who predicted this Great Purge a decade ago are mainly aghast at the speediness of our great nation’s decline from being a strong, bold, and innovative land of the free, home of the brave to a cowering bunch of double-mask-wearing simpletons using their iPhones to search Google for “most violent ways to defeat capitalism and stuff.”

As I blogged last month, red states can “use state legislatures to establish state laws that protect a given state’s citizens from online censorship of lawful speech based on political affiliation.”

Despite Democrats and their activist media arm pushing narratives to the contrary, we are not one American state over which any party or president can “rule”; we are a republic and a union of republican states—each with its own constitution, its own laws, and its own executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

In this spirit of republicanism, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced a Floridian crackdown on Big Tech to combat its targeting of conservatives for silencing, bans, and other means of suppression of those they deem to be engaging in socio-political wrong think.

The states are the correct places to test new ideas.  When states like Vermont and Massachusetts tried various models of universal healthcare, they failed. Abysmally. When states like California tried pushing green energy over common sense, their citizens experienced rolling brown and blackouts, raging fires, excessive state and local (property, etc.) taxes, water restrictions, and more.  The state still couldn’t meet power demands without importing “dirty” power from nearby states.  It’s probably best to let California work out the green agenda’s job- and economy-crushing kinks before inflicting their ongoing failures on the rest of us.

We should learn from these failed state experiments. If they work, let other states adopt them; and, if that works, we don’t need federal intervention or mandates/”nudges” because other states will happily and proudly follow suit. If these loopy commie plans fail at the state level, they will never succeed at the federal level.

I am endlessly amused by lefties claiming that we need bigger communes, a whole nation commune! A global commune!  They tacitly admit that their communes didn’t work back in the ’60s (these peace and loveniks weren’t that happy about doing all the work for the lazy losers who did nothing but their drugs and women and still got their “fair share.”).  It’s kind of like that old saw about Solyndra’s business plan: sure, we’re losing money on every solar panel, but we’ll make it up in bulk!

Republicans like DeSantis,  are working not in a world that he wishes existed but in the world that actually does exist. In this world, his state’s citizens are being persecuted, silenced, and de-platformed for their political beliefs and American values by the Democrats’ Big Tech enforcement arm. And in this world, DeSantis, as the executive, supports legislative action.

Breitbart reports:

At a press conference earlier today, DeSantis highlighted the importance of the issue.

“What began as a group of upstart companies from the west coast has since transformed into an industry of monopoly communications platforms that monitor, influence, and control the flow of information in our country and among our citizens, and they do this to an extent hitherto unimaginable,” said DeSantis.

“These platforms have changed from neutral platforms that provided Americans with the freedom to speak to enforcers of preferred narratives. Consequently, these platforms have played an increasingly decisive role in elections, and have negatively impacted Americans who dissent from orthodoxies favored by the Big Tech cartel.”

DeSantis accused the tech giants of “clear viewpoint discrimination,” highlighting the censorship of Donald Trump and the removal of Parler from the internet and Apple and Google-controlled app stores.

“The core issue here is this: are consumers going to have the choice to consume the information they choose, or are oligarchs in Silicon Valley going to make those choices for us? No group of people should exercise such power, especially not tech billionaires in Northern California.”

This really is the core issue for both the left and the right. Democrats, their media #FakeNews activist arm, and their Big Tech enforcers seem deluded enough to think normal Americans will suddenly become socialist zombies if only they watch enough MSNBC and read enough of the NYTimes.

Despite decades of “unintended” (but completely predictable) consequences of their myopic feel-good lunacy, the left really believes that a suppressed and forcibly silenced silent majority is somehow defused and not a political force. While that big lie may work in the Middle East, in China, North Korea, and even in Europe, my guess is that it won’t work here.



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2smartforlibs | February 3, 2021 at 9:43 am

Would be nice if that got a few other gutless Gov. off their backsides I could mention.

smalltownoklahoman | February 3, 2021 at 9:49 am

One European country (Poland or Hungary I think) is taking a rather simple, but hopefully effective step that I like. Every time these tech companies takes down a post one of their citizens makes that was perfectly legal for them to make, they are going to fine the tech company. Effectively: you will pay every time you violate our citizens rights! If big tech lays off the heavy handed censorship in that country then we’ll know that’s at least one effective strategy.

    Brave Sir Robbin in reply to smalltownoklahoman. | February 3, 2021 at 10:41 am

    It’s simpler to just confiscate all the tech-oligarchs’ money and property. They are white privileged men. The money could be used for reparations for slavery and Jim Crow. How could they object?

    If the standard is posts that were legal to make then all moderation is illegal, and sites will quickly be overcome by spam and pr0n. Ask anyone who runs a forum, including this one, how many posts get rejected every day.

    If the standard is viewpoint neutrality, you have to answer whether you’re willing to have that same standard imposed on LI. Do you think Prof J should be forced to host comments that he personally finds offensive, such as ones that are outright antisemitic or communist? I know LI deletes all rape jokes on sight; would you make that illegal? Don’t such restrictions violate his first amendment rights?

      Brave Sir Robbin in reply to Milhouse. | February 3, 2021 at 5:11 pm

      Just applying their logic and arguments to the problem.

      But to address your specific points, which are quite fundamental, their is am issue of what should be done when a person abuses their rights. Normally, sanctions are built into the law and solidified by precedent. The people, writ large, do have the right, within prescribed limits, to regulate private activities, especially corporate activities conducted in the public domain. There are numerous examples, the appropriateness of which are arguable in many instances.

      Indeed, the virtual domain is nasty, filthy and cruel. One reason I like this site is that, for whatever reason, it is quite largely devoid of that character, with exceptions to which I will confess occasional guilt even measured on the scale of my own personally fungible morality, tastes, and temper.

      Having said all this, I would greatly appreciate a technical solution I can control. For example, I would like the ability to decide what sort of posts to avoid and censure for myself, not others. The site could offer filter controls to block certain people, IP addresses, key words, phases, etc. Contextual filtering is also now possible.

      This solution would give me the power to view and engage freely, on my own terms, and not be subject to the arbitrary whim of someone who believes themselves more knowledgeable and morally superior, and who therefore, think they have both a right and an obligation to control the content I can both disperse and consume.

      Since these technical solutions exist, and are used by the tech-oligopolies to monitor and censure content they do not like, I assume there is a reason it is not made widely available. That reason is they want to retain that control, and not allow me, or you, to have it.

        daniel_ream in reply to Brave Sir Robbin. | February 4, 2021 at 11:15 am

        think they have both a right and an obligation to control the content I can both disperse and consume.

        People seem to be very confused about what a “right” is.

      Burn_the_Witch in reply to Milhouse. | February 5, 2021 at 1:13 pm

      It all depends. Is the professor a publisher or a platform?

        He is doing exactly the same thing as Facebook and Twitter. He is running an interactive computer service on which he allows us to post our own comments, without prior approval. He reserves the right to delete any comment that offends him (or the moderators who act on his authority), and to delete the account of anyone who he thinks is not a positive contributor to the forum. That means he is not acting as a publisher. And neither are Facebook or Twitter, who do the same. They are all acting as distributors, just like bookstores, which by default carry content they have neither read nor approved, but which reserve the right to stop carrying books whose content they find offensive.

JusticeDelivered | February 3, 2021 at 9:53 am

“to enforcers of preferred narratives”

Selective editing of news outlets comment sections with this goal have gone on for many years. Both platforms and media have been trying to shove their agenda down our throats for a long time. They want to dictate what we say, and think.

smalltownoklahoman | February 3, 2021 at 9:53 am

Also there are movements like this one that are gaining steam:

I just hope that like many unions it does not become corrupted to become pretty much just a funding machine for certain political parties.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to smalltownoklahoman. | February 3, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    That link is restricted.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | February 3, 2021 at 2:12 pm

      It was not restricted this morning, but is now. I guess that Google is trying to get these people to move to and other sites.

      It seems pretty clear that platforms like are using peoples content for profit, and not paying those people.

      Contrary to Google’s propaganda that they are not evil, they are.

      People should put really short teaser videos on u, referring those people to other sites to get the rest of the story.

        smalltownoklahoman in reply to JusticeDelivered. | February 3, 2021 at 3:47 pm

        Beat me to it but yeah was not privated when I linked it and it would be an odd thing to do for the creator as it was a kind of public announcement. Basically people organizing and forming a union, now officially a one, for better representation on youtube.

Oh, yes, nothing could possibly go wrong with using the state’s monopoly on the use of force to bully private companies into providing free resources to a politician’s campaign.

Every soi-disant conservative cheering this action needs to be dropped out of a helicopter.

    Burn_the_Witch in reply to daniel_ream. | February 3, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    This is a fine parody of the brain-dead big-L libertarian position.

    Well done.

      Got an actual answer? From the summary posted here it looks like all you have to do is declare your candidacy for some office, and you can commandeer my resources for your campaign, even if I find your positions completely offensive.

      Let’s say you’re an outright black/white/yellow supremacist, or are campaigning to turn the US into a Christian theocracy; does running for office mean I have to host your propaganda for free?! Or even for pay?!

      Should bookstores be forced to carry every book that is in print, even if they find it offensive?!

        henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | February 4, 2021 at 12:51 am

        Well, all you have to do is declare your candidacy for some office, and you can spam my mailbox incessantly, despite federal laws that make it illegal for anybody else to do so. What’s the difference?

        “Sites will be overcome with spam and pr0n…”

        Yeah, like the walls of every public bathroom my kids have to use. And yet they deal.

        The tough survive better than those who think they have to go through life with their eyes double-masked.

        Burn_the_Witch in reply to Milhouse. | February 5, 2021 at 1:08 pm

        False equivalence. A bookstore isn’t social media. Social media companies which control a monopoly share of the market space, internet ad revenue, and the online marketplace in general need to be subjected to the same market regulations which govern every other sector. When they then conspire to outright destroy their competition, it’s even worse.

        Care to try again with a relevant comparison?

          It’s not a false equivalence, it’s exactly the same thing. They are all distributors, and as such the constitution protects their right to immunity from liability for content they did not produce and are not aware is illegal.

          And no, they do not have a monopoly. Nor is there a “monopoly” exception to the first amendment.

Hell yeah.

On the other hand, what about restricting such rules to sites with more than 100 million individual contributors, i.e. big enough to have network effects?

    daniel_ream in reply to Milhouse. | February 4, 2021 at 11:13 am

    Again, fairly easily gamed, and if such a law exists Big Tech sites will simply shift to a Mastodon-like infrastructure where technically every node has less than 100 million users, but they can all communicate seamlessly. Note that this would also make it much easier for nodes in repressive countries to cut off communications outside the nodes they control.

    The real issue here is, as it always has been, not that soi-disant conservatives are getting their free shit taken away, but the cultural values that allow web sites in disparate markets to jointly deplatform people for wrongthink.

    I don’t think there’s a legislative solution to that that doesn’t trample on as many Amendments as the current crop of proposed solutions. Politics is downstream from culture and this is a fight that has to be won on that battlefield.

      Burn_the_Witch in reply to daniel_ream. | February 5, 2021 at 1:11 pm

      Yeah, the fight has to be won on their turf, that they control with an iron grip through their iron triangle.

      Nope, we must cling to our pRiNcIpLes and submit to fascism with honor. Good call, Sport.

        Yes, we have to stick to our principles. If we don’t what makes them wrong and us right? What’s the point of “winning” if we become them? Why bother fighting for their principles, which is what you’re doing?

The bookstore analogy is wrong. The phone company analogy is right. Say what you want on the phone (or a conference call) without the phone muting you when you try to say a certain idea and without the phone company cancelling your phone.

    daniel_ream in reply to Egghead. | February 4, 2021 at 11:06 am

    The phone company analogy is very, very wrong because the fiber optic lines that carry Internet data are not owned by Facebook, Google or Apple.

    Soi-disant conservatives will continue to lose this battle as long as they aggressively, willfully remain ignorant about how the Internet works.

    Milhouse in reply to Egghead. | February 4, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    The phone company analogy only works for AWS and other ISPs. Facebook, Twitter, etc. don’t function anything like the phone company. And it’s false to call them publishers because they don’t function like publishers. What they are is distributors, just like book stores, and the courts have already determined the rules for those.

    The defining characteristic of publishers, and the reason why they are liable for everything they publish, is that they read and approve all submissions and make an affirmative decision to publish them. That’s why they can be held liable for them. But FB, Twitter, etc. don’t do that. All content goes up unmoderated, and the overwhelming majority of it is never seen by a moderator. Only when a moderator happens to see something “offensive”, either because she stumbled across it or because someone brought it to her attention, does she decide whether to remove it.

    And that is exactly how bookstores operate. By default they don’t read everything in stock and don’t know what’s in most of their stock. But if the owner happens to read a book and takes offense at it, or if a book is brought to his attention, he stops carrying it. Some bookstores are more selective than others, but all retain the right to refuse to carry books they don’t like. And the supreme court said that doesn’t make them liable for carrying books with illegal content, unless they happen to know about them, and have received legal advice that they’re illegal, and chose to carry them anyway.

      Burn_the_Witch in reply to Milhouse. | February 5, 2021 at 6:46 pm

      Facebook and Twitter are “distributors”? Just like book stores? Dear sweet baby Jesus, Millhouse, you’ve got a volume of stupid takes on LI alone, but this is a masterpiece. Let’s pretend for a moment that you’ve managed to get this one right – so just because they’ve got one set of rules which govern them means that the rules can’t change? Is that what you’re going with?

      The idea that social media companies do not moderate the content that they “publish” is not even in the same orbit as something resembling a fact. I refuse to believe you to be this titanically ignorant, so I can only assume mendacity on your part. But I do love the “social media companies don’t moderate content, until they do” line. Sterling argument. Certainly what LI readers have come to expect from you.

      Please, out of sheer morbid fascination, I’d love to see you continue to flesh out this bookstore metaphor (because that’s precisely what it is, rather than a meaningful comparison).

        You’re an idiot. Yes, Facebook and Twitter are distributors, not publishers, and yes, they function exactly like bookstores. What is the difference between a publisher and a bookstore?

        Nobody said they don’t moderate content. Of course they do, and they have every right to, just like bookstores do. Tell me the difference. Like bookstores, FB & Twitter do not moderate content before it’s published. Like bookstores, the overwhelming majority of content is never seen by a moderator, and they are unaware of what it says, so they cannot be held liable for it. And yet, like bookstores, they do remove content that they don’t like, if and when they become aware of it. Doing so does not make them liable for the rest of the content, of which they remain unaware.

I have no doubt FLSC or the 11th Circuit will protect Big Tech.

“I am endlessly amused by lefties claiming that we need bigger communes, a whole nation commune! A global commune!”

Simple math. The sooner a Ponzi scheme runs out of new fish, the sooner it falls apart.