Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has directed his Secretary of State Laurel Lee to launch a probe into Facebook, following a media report that it spared favored users from being banned for publicizing their political views, the state government said on Monday.
“Today, Governor DeSantis directed Secretary of State Laurel Lee to investigate Facebook for alleged election interference, following a bombshell report that the tech giant put its thumb on the scale of numerous state and local races by exempting elite users from Facebook’s own rules,” the state said in a news release.
According to Facebook internal documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal, the company applied a double standard to its users and granted select users the freedom to disregard the platform’s own community standards without the threat of enforcement action, the release explained.
“If this new report is true, Facebook has violated Florida law to put its thumb on the scale of numerous state and local races….That is why I am directing Secretary Lee to use all legal means to uncover violations of Florida’s election laws. The thought of Facebook clandestinely manipulating elections is an affront to the basic principles of our republic,” DeSantis said in the release.
If the Wall Street Journal report was accurate, Facebook had created a privileged class of speakers and has empowered them to manipulate US elections with impunity, the release stated.