Judge Blocks Texas Social Media Censorship Law

Gage Skidmore Flickr

A federal judge has filed an injunction against a texas social media censorship law. The law is designed to prevent big tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter from banning users or content based on politics.

The Daily Wire reports:

In September, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed HB20 into law. “There is a dangerous movement by some social media companies to silence conservative ideas and values,” said Abbott at the time. “This is wrong and we will not allow it in Texas.”

Judge Robert Pitman for the Western District of Texas granted the preliminary injunction and said that Big Tech companies have a First Amendment right to moderate content on their platforms.

As CNET reported, Judge Pitman also rejected the defendants’ argument that such companies are “common carriers,” adding that the state offered “no convincing support for recognizing a governmental interest in the free and unobstructed use of common carriers’ information conduits.”

“This Court is convinced that social media platforms, or at least those covered by HB 20, curate both users and content to convey a message about the type of community the platform seeks to foster and, as such, exercise editorial discretion over their platform’s content,” Pitman wrote in his ruling. “Without editorial discretion, social media platforms could not skew their platforms ideologically, as the State accuses of them of doing.”

Texas Gov. Abbott says he plans to appeal Pitman’s injunction.

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9 months ago

Terrible Judge. Maybe the legislature didn’t word the law correctly, but the obvious argument is that the platform is a “public accommodation” meaning that the general public is invited to participate. The law would then properly say that on a social platform where political discussions are expected, it is illegal to discriminate based on political point of view as long as it doesn’t violate the standards of the platform (as applied equally to all who participate)

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