Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee to investigate Facebook‘s role in interfering with state and local races, after an investigative report found that the Big Tech company has a two-tiered censorship policy.
“It’s no secret that Big Tech censors have long enforced their own rules inconsistently,” DeSantis said in a press release. “If this new report is true, Facebook has violated Florida law to put its thumb on the scale of numerous state and local races.”
DeSantis directed Lee to open the investigation in a letter that he sent on Monday.
“Floridians deserve to know how much this corporate titan has influenced our elections,” he said.
The Wall Street Journal learned in a review of Facebook’s internal documents that the social media platform keeps a secret “whitelist” of well-connected celebrities with left-wing credentials.
The elites whose names appear on this list are reportedly not subject to Facebook’s content moderation policies or have much more leeway than average users.
Facebook’s top-ranking officials allegedly created the whitelist without informing the corporation as a whole or the public.
Facebook often censors or “fact-checks” posts made by regular users without cause or for partisan purposes.
DeSantis has given Lee’s office the power to conduct an investigation by “issuing subpoenas, conducting witness interviews, reviewing all available information, and consulting with law enforcement.”
He warned that Facebook may have given special privileges to incumbent politicians at the expense of challengers—an action that he said will “erode the legitimacy of our institutions.”
“The thought of Facebook clandestinely manipulating elections is an affront to the basic principles of our republic,” DeSantis said. “We the people have the right to choose our representatives, whether or not Silicon Valley approves.”