Nikki Fried describes Republicans’ Big Tech legislation as a political ‘knee jerk reaction’

Gov. Ron DeSantis declared war on the 'big tech cartel' early Tuesday.

Florida’s top-elected Democrat may have concerns about Big Tech, but don’t count on her to take arms alongside Florida Republicans.

Speaking at a Tuesday press conference in the Florida Capitol, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried described Gov. Ron DeSantis’ legislative effort against tech giants as politically “disingenuous.”

What’s more, she contended the federal government should deal with tech companies, not the state.

“This is definitely something that needs to go on the federal side,” Fried said, noting complex, far-reaching issues such as the ongoing Reddit and GameStop situation. 

Fried’s remarks came minutes after DeSantis declared war on the “big tech cartel” early Tuesday.

Flanked by legislators and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez, DeSantis unveiled the “Transparency in Technology” Act. 

The bill, among other pursuits, seeks to limit conservative censorship and prevent shadow banning. 

Republicans cited several foul-play instances, including censorship of the New York Post‘s Hunter Biden story and Twitter’s decision to de-platform President Donald Trump.

DeSantis contended Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms have “changed from neutral platforms to enforcers of preferred narratives.”

He also noted Amazon’s decision to drop Parler, a social media app endeared by conservatives. 

Fried, meanwhile, described the legislation as a political “knee-jerk reaction.”

“I believe that where the Governor and the Republican leadership is today is more a knee-jerk reaction and for politicking and not real policy,” Fried said. “We need to be looking at the policy of the tech companies.”

While disagreements exist between both sides, Fried and Republicans note Silicon Valley’s mammoth size and influence.

She suggested their rapid growth is worth Congressional discussion. 

“The big tech companies have gotten too big,” Fried said. “They’re really curtailing capitalism and an opportunity for others to get into the industry. Things like this happen when there’s not more players and an equal playing field for everyone.”

When asked about Twitter’s Trump ban, Fried offered few words. 

“I’m definitely not commenting on that,” she told reporters.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.

One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    February 3, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Duffus Desantis discuss the issues! Stop your paranoid delusional bs! The tech world is private! But that doesn’t mean it cannot be broken up! At this point there ain’t a reasonable solution! Keep on discussing options.

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