The GOP governor set his sights on punishing 'Big Tech' after Donald Trump was banned from Twitter.
White supremacists are rallying behind Florida legislation that would punish social media companies for banning the accounts of political candidates.
Legislation is currently under consideration in Florida's Senate alongside a companion bill in the Florida House of Representatives that seeks to punish companies like Twitter and Facebook for "deplatforming" politicians during an election and would allow the Florida Elections Commission to fine them up to $100,000 per day until access is restored.
The legislation has the backing of the state's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a close Donald Trump ally, who many are considering to be a likely presidential candidate in 2024.
On Friday, conservative activist Nick Fuentes promoted an April 27 rally in favor of the bill, slated to be held in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. In addition to Fuentes, the rally is scheduled to feature Republican congressional candidate Laura Loomer, along with far-right activists Michelle Malkin, Vince James, and Lauren Witzke.
Fuentes is well-known for his white supremacist beliefs. In March, he held the America First Political Action Conference in Orlando, at which he stated, "White people founded this country. This country wouldn't exist without white people. White people are done being bullied."
Fuentes was a part of the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally and marched alongside neo-Nazis. He has promoted racist views, including the idea that Black people "do not live in a civilized fashion."
The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that Fuentes has "repeatedly praised neo-Nazis" and has called for violence in response to Black Lives Matter protests.
He recently slammed the guilty verdict in the trial of former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
"RIGGED SYSTEM," Fuentes tweeted.
Another supporter of the Florida legislation, Laura Loomer, is currently running in the Republican primary for the seat in Florida's 21st Congressional District. She lost the general election for the same seat by 20 points in 2020.
Loomer has described herself as "pro-white nationalism" and a "#ProudIslamaphobe." A conservative pundit and activist, she has been banned by Twitter, Uber, and Lyft for making anti-Muslim screeds.
Vincent James, another one of the bill's supporters, led the Red Elephants YouTube channel, where he interviewed white supremacists and in one instance prompted a guest to say the "14 words" neo-Nazi slogan. James channel was banned from YouTube in August 2020 due to "multiple or severe violations of YouTube's policy prohibiting hate speech," according to a notice from Youtube.
Also slated to attend the rally and speak are anti-immigrant activist Michelle Malkin and Lauren Witzke, the latter of whom is a failed Senate candidate and believer in the QAnon and "flat earth" conspiracy theories.
Some legal experts have criticized the Florida proposal, noting that it likely won't hold weight in court.
Trump was permanently banned from Twitter for his tweet appearing to support rioters behind the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and promoting the false claim that he defeated President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.