Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis just launched a war against Facebook by directing his Secretary of State, Laurel M. Lee to investigate the Tech Giant for election interference after multiple reports suggested that Facebook substantially impacted the results of local and state elections in a partisan manner. DeSantis called Facebook’s activity “an affront” that threatened “basic principles of our republic.”
The letter issued by DeSantis asks Lee to investigate what election violations Facebook performed against the state and emphasized that “all legal means” should be employed to uncover Facebook’s scandal.
The order come shortly after a report from The Wall Street Journal that explained how Facebook offered preferential treatment to elite users of the platform. Most crucially, Facebook’s special treatment included “most government officials” but not all. Facebook employees are reported as having concerns that they might be open to “accusations of favoritism” given the way in which they handled public figures during the election.
DeSantis slammed the Tech Giant by noting that it’s public knowledge that such companies use their censorship rules in inconsistent ways. He added that if the Journal’s report is true, then Florida law was violated by the “corporate titan” who had their “thumb on the scale” throughout local and state races. DeSantis emphasized that Florida elections should reflect the will of the people, “not Silicon Valley.”
DeSantis’ office issued a press release that continued to state the issue. It details how The Wall Street Journal uncovered Facebook’s “egregious double standard” and slammed the Tech Giant for subjecting ordinary people to “arbitrary censorship… the whims of so-called-fact-checkers.” The letter also points out how Facebook allows certain users to ignore or bypass the platform’s community standards with whimsy.
The alleged “whitelist” of elite Facebook users, according to the letter, permitted “a privileged class of speakers” an undo amount of influence over election outcomes. As of yet, as the letter notes, it’s not yet clear what “scope, and real-world influence” was wreaked by Facebook’s secret list.
The letter states that Florida will pursue Facebook and hold them accountable for eroding the legitimacy of Florida elections.
I am authorizing @FLSecofState and the Florida Department of State to open an investigation into Facebook’s alleged election interference through its whitelisting program.
Floridians deserve to know how much Big Tech has influenced our elections. pic.twitter.com/rmGmZ6BK6T
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 27, 2021
Author: Michele Waters