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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Court reinstates Texas GOP-backed law to prosecute banned social media users

A federal appeals court on Wednesday reinstated a Texas law championed by Republicans that allows citizens to prosecute social media companies for what they perceive to be politically motivated sanctions.

The law was blocked by a lower court in December after Internet industry trade groups alleged that it violated companies’ First Amendment rights, approving a state proposal by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court’s decision. Effective after giving According to Reuters, the three-judge appeals panel offered no explanation, but an asterisk said the judges were not unanimous.

Republicans have repeatedly complained that their views have been silenced on mainstream social media platforms, pointing to former President Donald Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter. Twitter said it booted Trump in January 2021 “Because of the risk of further inciting violence.”

The Texas law, known as House Bill 20, takes on issues of “censorship or some other interference with digital expression, including expression on social media platforms or through electronic mail messages.” This requires social media companies operating in Texas that have more than 50 million active monthly users to disclose how they moderate content and use algorithms.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pittman blocked the law a day before it took effect in December, in response to a lawsuit filed by lobbying groups Net Choice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association. The judge wrote in his opinion that social media platforms “have the right to curate both users and content to convey a message about the type of community that the platform seeks to promote and, as such, on its platform’s content.” Uses editorial discretion.”

The plaintiffs of the lawsuit argued that the law would “prevent the Platform from taking action to protect itself, its users, advertisers, and the public from harmful and objectionable matter.” He further alleged that the law would “unconstitutionally require platforms such as YouTube and Facebook to broadcast, for example, pro-Nazi speech, terrorist propaganda, foreign government misinformation and medical misinformation.”

GOP Gov. Greg Abbott signed it into law on September 9, 2021.

“Social media websites have become the public square of our modern times,” Abbott said during the signing ceremony. “They are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely – but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and views. This is wrong and we in Texas do it. won’t allow it.”

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World Nation News Desk
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