Ron DeSantis Issues Order To Investigate Facebook

( After the Wall Street Journal’s explosive report revealing that Facebook exempts millions of VIP users from its moderation policies during the 2020 election, Governor Ron DeSantis instructed Florida’s Secretary of State, Laurel Lee, to investigate Facebook for possible election interference.

In a press release on Monday announcing the move, Governor DeSantis, citing the Journal’s report, said that if the story is true, Facebook has violated Florida’s tech censorship law passed earlier this year. DeSantis argued that Facebook created a “privileged class of speakers” which has empowered the social media giant to “manipulate our elections with impunity.”

In May, Governor DeSantis signed into law Florida’s SB 7072 which safeguards Florida citizens from social media censorship. Among the provisions in the law, tech companies are barred from interfering with elections by attempting to censor candidates running for office.

In a statement to The Hill, DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw said that if Secretary of State Lee’s investigation reveals Facebook’s double standard “amounted to interference in state and local races in Florida,” the people of Florida have a right to know to what extent.

In his letter to Secretary of State Lee, DeSantis said that “Floridians deserve to have faith that their elections are free from Big Tech interference.”

Don’t we all. Too bad Florida is the only state bothering to look into it.

In response to Florida’s investigation, Facebook spokesman Drew Pusateri defended the “cross check” program exposed in the Journal report. Pusateri argued that the company identified the issues it had with cross check and has made efforts to improve this system. Pusateri boasted of the “investments” Facebook has made in cross check, adding that the company “built a dedicated team” which he says has been redesigning it “to improve how the system operates.”

According to the Wall Street Journal’s report, through the cross check system, Facebook exempted 5.8 million so-called VIP users from some or all of the site’s moderation policies. While the program was initially designed to protect the company from bad publicity in case it moderated content for more high-profile users, it was instead used to shield those VIP users from the rules that apply to everybody else.