(NewsReady.com) – In September, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed HB 20 into law, making it illegal for social media companies to ban people based on their political beliefs. Two trade groups representing Big Tech sued to stop the law from going into effect. In December 2021, a judge dealt a blow to Abbott.
US District Judge Robert Pitman rejected Texas’ argument that it had a right to dictate who the social media companies could ban because they’re “common carriers.” Had the judge agreed, Big Tech would have been treated like cable and phone providers. Instead, Pitman determined Big Tech’s right to moderate content as it sees fit and the First Amendment protects the companies’ terms of service.
A federal judge in Austin blocked Texas' social media censorship law, which prohibits large social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter from censoring users "based on their political viewpoints."https://t.co/10ZSSu5mXr
— Chron (@chron) December 2, 2021
The ruling was a setback for Conservatives trying to stop social media platforms from targeting those on the Right. In the month since the ruling, Twitter has permanently banned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) personal account. The lawmaker’s ban comes nearly a year after all major social media companies perma-banned former President Donald Trump. Republicans argue the bans act as censorship and shouldn’t be allowed because the platforms have become the modern town square. Every time the companies are allowed to ban someone, they effectively silence that person.
Texas is expected to appeal the ruling.
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