"When you deplatform the president of the United States but you let Ayatollah Khamenei talk about killing Jews, that is wrong", DeSantis said to thunderous applause.
"Florida is the first state to hold Big Tech accountable by empowering each and every Floridian silenced by arbitrary corporate censorship to fight back".
DeSantis celebrated the law as a blow against "Silicon Valley elites" who he said were seeking to censor conservative political views. "This reaction to Donald Trump's ban from Facebook and Twitter following a unsafe disinformation campaign leading to the insurrection on January 6 is an overreach of government by the very party which claims to fight against such actions".
The Florida law makes it illegal to bar a candidate for state office for more than 14 days, in a move that would seem to outlaw the kind of permanent ban the social media platforms applied to Trump's accounts. Facebook declined to comment. The fine is $25,000 per day when deplatforming candidates for other offices.
"These enterprises take responsibility for what appears on their platforms and have the right to do so", Gibson said.
Companies are excluded from the law if they operate "a theme park or entertainment complex", a provision that was added to the law to protect Disney's streaming service, according to Orlando Weekly. "If our democracy is going to survive, we must stand up to these technological oligarchs and hold them accountable".
In Florida, as in dozens of other states, the Republican lawmakers' push to punish social media companies follows the party's other efforts to feed the demands of a conservative base that remains loyal to Trump. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law new restrictions on voting, as did DeSantis in Florida, and Texas Republicans are poised to soon pass the nation's biggest rollback of voting rights. The First Amendment prohibits the government from compelling or controlling speech on private websites, he added.
Regardless of the federal law, the new Florida law is constitutionally flawed, said Computer and Communications Industry Assn. "It was an honor carrying this historic piece of legislation for Governor DeSantis to ensure our voices are heard as we safeguard free speech", said Representative Blaise Ingoglia.