On Tuesday, Republican State Rep. Randy Fine penned a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis and Members of the Cabinet, demanding that they withdraw state monies linked to investments with nationally-based tech companies who banned or supported banning President Donald Trump from many social media platforms, including theirs, after last week’s attack by Pro-Trump activists on the U.S. Capitol building.
The companies allege that President Trump played a part in inciting the violence that occurred via a rally he and others spoke at the night before asking supporters to help to overturn the electoral college final tallies sealing the deal on Joe Biden’s win taking place at the Capitol that following day by fighting to make their voices firmly heard, in part, saying: “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol. And we’re gonna cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong.”
When things took a violent turn the following day, President Trump told his supporters, “We love you. You’re very special. Go home.”
In Rep. Fine’s letter, he starts, “I write to today to ask that you order the immediate divestment of any Florida-held equity and debt of the following companies: Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, and Alphabet (Google).”
In the letter, which Rep. Fine posted to Twitter from his iPhone, he calls the attack that occurred “one of the saddest days of my life,” and says the actions of those involved do not define Americans, including him, or conservatives as a whole.
“These terrorists defiled a sacred temple of democracy, and in my mind there is no penalty too severe for them,” Rep. Fine goes on to say.
For that reason, he says he believes parting ways with the tech giants he specified is called for, since to him, they “engaged in one-sided viewpoint discrimination targeting conservatives.”
Rep. Fine says that if the President can be silenced by those companies, then anyone can.
“I am deeply disturbed to see the country’s major technology companies use the actions of these few as a pretext to silence tens of millions of good, patriotic American, millions of whom live here in Florida,” he writes, adding that it doesn’t make much sense to him considering those companies have not taken a stand against other people or terrorist organizations who have used their platforms in the past to target America, Americans, and its allies, “without as much as a peep.”
He says “And it is not disputed that Amazon, Apple, and Google are actively working to eliminate any alternative outlets where conservatives can speak freely.
By 5 p.m. that day, Rep. Fine’s Tweet had exceeded 33,000 likes, more than 10,000 retweets and nearly 3,000 comments from people of all political affiliations and from all over the country, some in support of his request and some against it.
Either way, Rep. Fine, in a later Tweet that day, wrote: “This morning I asked the Governor and Cabinet to divest the state from Amazon, Twitter, Apple, Google, and Facebook. They may get to decide who they do business with. So do we.”
And Rep. Fine is not the only legislator to have taken action.
Republican State Rep. Anthony Sabatini, last Friday, filed House Bill 33, titled, the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act.”
Rep. Sabatini publicized his action by Tweeting the following: “This Bill would allow for a state cause of action (lawsuit) against large social media companies that censor user’s content. Big-Tech censorship is a threat to our Republic.”
He also posted a message on Facebook that reads, “Big-Tech just declared war on half the country,”
If passed, the House Bill, as filed, would become effective on July 1.
The Bill, which is available in its entirety for public viewing at myfloridahouse.gov, reads, “Whereas, this state has a compelling interest in holding certain social media websites to higher standards for having substantially created a digital public square, and Whereas, this state has an interest in helping its residents enjoy their free exercise of rights in certain semi-public forums commonly used for religious and political speech.”