Tech Groups Fight to Defend Censorship, Sue Florida for New Free Speech Law

May 28th, 2021 12:49 PM

Some groups on the left have organized in an effort to fight back against Florida’s new free speech law and have taken their complaints to court. 

NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) filed a complaint against several high-ranking Florida officials in an attempt to stop Florida’s new law combating Big Tech censorship. NetChoice and the CCIA each have connections to Big Tech companies like Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon. 

Rather than consider the fact that Big Tech companies stifle free expression online, NetChoice and the CCIA attempted to frame Big Tech as the victim. The complaint alleged that the act “discriminates against and infringes the First Amendment rights of these targeted companies.” 

The plaintiffs also argued against the law’s constitutionality. They claimed that the act “was animated by a patently unconstitutional and political motive to target and retaliate against certain companies based on the State’s disapproval of how the companies decide what content to display and make available through their services.” 

Ironically, the plaintiffs complained that the Act empowers the government to censor. “Rather than preventing what it calls ‘censorship,’ the Act does the exact opposite: it empowers government officials in Florida to police the protected editorial judgment of online businesses that the State disfavors and whose perceived political viewpoints it wishes to punish,” the plaintiffs argued. 

But the groups neglected to mention how Big Tech has undercut First Amendment principles and punished political viewpoints it “disfavors” many times before. Former President Donald Trump was suspended from at least 10 Big Tech platforms following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Facebook’s Oversight Board recently decided to temporarily uphold Facebook's ban of Trump — for now. The Board kicked the decision back to Facebook and insisted that the platform review the decision within six months. Big Tech’s massive push to censor conservative voices resulted in the industry receiving an “F” grade from the Media Research Center. 

To combat the constant barrage of censorship, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed the state’s new pro-free speech law on May 24. The law prohibits platforms from deplatforming candidates. It would impose a fine of $100,000 per day for statewide candidates and $10,000 per day for censoring other candidates. 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.