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Charlotte, NC — In the aftermath of the January 6 Captiol riots and Big Tech’s crackdown on Republican accounts across multiple platforms, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made it abundantly clear he was not going to sit idly by and take the punishment these bigoted and fascist social media elitists like Facebook and Twitter were unleashing on conservatives for simply having beliefs and attitudes different from their own.
Being a member of the GOP does not warrant or automatically make that person’s speech equally protected by the First Amendment less than.
A little over a week after the Capitol was attacked, DeSantis gave a speech in Texas where he said “the most important legislative issue” for the state of Florida in 2021 was to make it harder for Big Tech to censor conservative content.
“We need to really think deeply about if we are a disfavored class based on our principles, based on having conservative views, based on being a Christian, based on whatever you can say that is not favored in Silicon Valley,” DeSantis stated at the time. “I think it’s probably the most important legislative issue that we’re going to have to get right this year and next year.”
Fast forward to yesterday while speaking with reporters, DeSantis again blasted the mainstream media and Big Tech for their suppression of the Hunter Biden story as they claimed the story was based on “hacked information.” DeSantis fired, “You’re trying to tell me if there was hacked information that could damage me you guys wouldn’t print it? Give me a break. You can whiz on my leg, but don’t tell me it’s raining.”
During the presser, reporters were true to form with the gotcha questions. Here’s how DeSantis handled one reporter’s question about whether or not he believed President Donald Trump’s claim that the election was stolen:
At one point, the governor sparred with a reporter who asked whether he agreed with Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was “stolen,” arguing in response that Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) made similar claims about the 2016 election without facing retaliation by tech titans.
How many people tweeted in 2016 … that Russia stole the election for Trump?” DeSantis said. “That happened every day, thousands of times a day. Nancy Pelosi said, ‘The election was taken from us by Russia.’ Did any of those people get deplatformed? I don’t remember anyone even calling for them to be deplatformed.”
Watch to see his response:
REPORTER: Do you agree the election was stolen?DESANTIS: How many people tweeted in 2016 the election was stolen? Pelosi said the election was taken by Russia. Did any of them get deplatformed? … Those claims were amplified by Big Tech for years. pic.twitter.com/YaqSqgTgzF
At another point, another reporter brought up to DeSantis how there were accounts that were deplatformed because they supposedly tweeted something that “provoked” the platform’s attention to deplatform it.
DeSantis responded to a reporter claiming, “A lot of the deplatforming seems to be driven by somebody who did something that provoked the platform.”
DeSantis took the issue head-on:
Well, I think it’s been done in a way that’s completely unprincipled. They mentioned the Hunter Biden (story.) The Hunter Biden story was true, okay? We now know it was true. And the typical corporate media outlets, they just chose to ignore it; obviously they wanted to beat Trump. They had a view on the election. They didn’t want to give it any air. So we rely on social media to go around that, not let corporate legacy media outlets control the discourse and let us speak.
So you had the New York Post to run it and you couldn’t get any traction; you couldn’t get any reach on it because Big Tech put their thumb on the scale.
So that was true. What they said at the time, “Oh, it’s a conspiracy,” or, “It’s based on hacked information.” Are you kidding me? You’re trying to tell me if there was hacked information that could damage me you guys wouldn’t print it? Give me a break. You can whiz on my leg, but don’t tell me it’s raining. You guys would print it every single day if you could. And Big Tech would allow it to proliferate every single day, 24/7.
So it’s not being done on a principled basis, and it’s not — there’s threats on me. And it only gets taken down if law enforcement goes and tells them to do it. Otherwise it just stays up. They’re not moderating any of that. So they haven’t done a good job in it; the thumb’s always on the scale in one direction, and we just need to bring, we just need to bring some protection for folks. I really, really worry that when you have a business owner that may rely on some of these tools to do small business, if they engage in wrongthink or they go to the wrong political event, then all of a sudden, they (Big Tech) can act in concert and take you off, you need to have protection against that.
Gov. DeSantis calls out journalists defending big tech censorship of the Hunter Biden story:”You’re trying to tell me if there was hacked information that could damage me, you wouldn’t print it?… You can whiz on my leg, but don’t tell me it’s raining.”pic.twitter.com/jrepVdOYL1
During the press conference, DeSantis charged, “Today they may come after someone who looks like me. Tomorrow they may come after someone who looks like you,” adding that Big Tech platforms have “changed from neutral platforms to enforcers of preferred narratives.” He asserted, “I’m committed to addressing what may be one of the most pervasive threats to American self-government in the 21st century,” and opined, “Big Tech looks more like Big Brother every year … They change the rules constantly based on what they deem to be politically correct at any moment in time.”
Stating further, “You can look no further than the last several months of the election as coordinated, calculated efforts were undertaken to advance an increasingly evident political agenda of the Big Tech companies.”
Unwavering in his position, DeSantis indicated there were without question some forms of speech that crossed the line (like threatening physical harm), but he also raised an important question that often gets lost in discussions about Big Tech censorship:
“But who gets to make those determinations [about what constitutes ”misinformation”]?”
The man has a point. Exactly who gets to decide?
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