A number of people around the country are working on the problem of censorship of conservative speech by the technology behemoths, especially the social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. For now, it seems clear that federal action is foreclosed. The Democrats have no intention of doing anything to disrupt a situation that is highly favorable to them. So for the foreseeable future, all the action will be at the state level.
Some have asked whether I am worried about federal pre-emption under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The short answer: not very. I think the case for pre-emption, vis-a-vis a statute like the one proposed in Minnesota, is very weak.
Bills have been drafted in a number of other states, and in some cases introduced. Florida has a bill that I have not read, but that Governor Ron DeSantis talked about today in a press conference. He did a terrific job, but did not explain in detail what the bill says. One feature: it bars social media platforms from deplatforming political candidates during an election campaign, with substantial fines. You can see DeSantis’s press conference in a Twitter feed here. This two-minute segment is entertaining. Quotable quote: “You can whiz on my leg, but don’t tell me it’s raining.”
.@GovRonDeSantis Calling Out Journalists Defending Big Tech & The Censorship Of Hunter Biden Story: “You're trying to tell me if there was hacked information that could damage me, you wouldn't print it? Give me a break. You can whiz on my leg, but don’t tell me it’s raining." 5/ pic.twitter.com/6psMF0UJ0e
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) February 2, 2021
I will have more to say about the Florida legislation and bills being introduced in other states in the weeks to come.