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DeSantis signs law to allow social media users to sue big tech

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Monday so that social media users who feel they’ve been treated unfairly can sue big tech platforms. The bill also prevents platforms that have violated antitrust law from contracting with any public entity and prohibits big tech from de-platforming Floridian political candidates.

“This session, we took action to ensure that ‘We the People’ — real Floridians across the Sunshine State — are guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley elites,” de Santis said at a press conference to commemorate the signing.

“Many in our state have experienced censorship and other tyrannical behavior firsthand in Cuba and Venezuela. If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable.”

At the end, one reporter asked him: “You’re loyal to former President Donald Trump, Donald Trump is now a resident in Florida and he was de-platformed. Is this bill for him?”

“The bill is for everyday Floridians,” de Santis said. But, he did seem to disagree with the suspension of Trump from such platforms. “When you de-platform the president of the United States and allow but you let Ayatollah Khomeini talk about killing Jews, that is wrong.”

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism

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Meta to reinstate Trump’s Facebook, Instagram ‘in coming weeks’

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Meta’s president of Global Affairs Nick Clegg announced former President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be reinstated “in coming weeks” after a more than two-year suspension.

“Our determination is that the risk [to public safety] has sufficiently receded,” Meta Clegg said in a blog post. “As such, we will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks. However, we are doing so with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”

Twitter restored Trump’s account in November following its takeover by billionaire Elon Musk, but the former president has not yet resumed tweeting. Therefore it is unclear if he will use any of his former social media platforms, or instead remain on his own social media platform, Truth Social.

Clegg said “We just do not want — if he is to return to our services — for him to do what he did on January 6, which is to use our services to delegitimize the 2024 election, much as he sought to discredit the 2020 election.”

New “guardrails” include new policies around restricting accounts by public figures during civil unrest. Under those policies, Meta can decide to restrict the account of a public figure that violates its community standards for a time ranging from one month to two years.

“If he now posts further violating content, that content will be removed, of course, and he could be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation,” Clegg said.

Posts will also be able to be limited on distribution without removing them or temporarily restricting access to its advertising tools. “Oblique references to QAnon content, for instance … is the kind of material that — even if it’s done obliquely, and doesn’t violate our community standards — we would seek to restrict the distribution of the content and/or restrict his ability to advertise,” added Clegg.

 

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