Florida state senator and GOP chairman Joe Gruters joined Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow on Breitbart News Daily Tuesday to discuss his bill to defeat social media censorship.
Identifying the social media giants as the new “digital public square,” Sen. Gruters said censorship is a “First Amendment thing — it’s freedom of speech, the right to be out there, the right to be heard.”
Gruters went on to thank Breitbart News for helping to spread the truth about social media censorship.
“This is the second time we’ve brought it up. The good news is there’s momentum growing. There are now fourteen variations of this same bill that [have] now been introduced across the country. And it’s bipartisan — we’ve got [state] senator Gabbard to introduce it in Hawaii of all places, the father of the presidential candidate.”
“I think it’s unfair that conservatives are being targeted [in] the way that they are. I think we need to step up, and I think we need to realize that these large social media companies [are] the digital public square.”
“I never see [Breitbart’s] news in the Google searches, it never comes up. They definitely suppress conservative voices.”
“We are in the fight for our lives in this presidential cycle, there’s no question about it. We’re fortunate here in Florida to have America’s most popular governor, Ron DeSantis, and that’s really going to help us carry the day.”
“A lot of times these bills take a couple of years to filter through the system. I think we can get a senate hearing this year; I’m hoping to move it past one or two committees. I think we’re still a year out from passing the actual bill — so I don’t think it will happen in 2020, I’m thinking maybe 2021… [but] there’s an outside chance we could pass it this year.”
“We’re going to push, and do everything we possibly can, but this a difficult subject — a lot of people don’t want to take on these big social media companies because they’re afraid of the repercussions. And listen, they are heavy-handed, they do play a role in the political system here in Florida, and no-one wants to get on their bad side.”
“The problem, as a candidate, if you get banned — look at Laura Loomer: she can’t do anything on social media, she can’t even take an Uber or a Lyft, she’s been banned from all the platforms — it is a problem … Look at everyone looking at their phones, all day long, they’re on all these social media giants, checking their status, checking other people, and when you can’t communicate, for me, it comes right back to violating your freedom of speech and being able to be out there in the digital public square and say your peace.”
“We’ve got to continue to push this across the country — once we get one state that passes it, hopefully it [gives] courage and strength to other leaders around the country to do the same thing, to make sure we protect conservative candidates and conservatives overall from being censored.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.