Chris Lange, FISM News
A Texas federal appeals court has reinstated a Republican-backed Texas law preventing social media companies from banning users over their political views, Fox News reported.
The law, known as HB 20, requires social media platforms with 50 million or more monthly users to publicly disclose information concerning account suspensions and content removal.
The decision, handed down by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is a win for GOP lawmakers who have accused social media giants like Facebook and Twitter of silencing conservative voices on their platforms. The ruling, however, merely allows the law to go back into effect pending a lower district court’s decision in the case.
Last fall, a judge sided with two Big Tech trade groups representing Google, Twitter, and other platforms who sued to block the law, ruling that the companies have a right to moderate content under their First Amendment protections. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed the decision.
Paxton heralded the appeals court ruling as a “BIG WIN against BIG TECH” in a tweet, adding “The 5th Circuit made the right call here, and I look forward to continuing to defend the constitutionality of #HB20.”
Florida is currently appealing a ruling against a similar law.
Republicans have long accused Big Tech of unfair bias in its content moderation, particularly after platforms buried the since-verified Hunter Biden laptop story, a move conservatives say unfairly swayed the 2020 election in Joe Biden’s favor, and following Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend the account of former President Donald Trump. Since then, Social media censorship has taken center stage following billionaire Elon Musk’s move to buy Twitter. The Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder has vowed to restore free speech to the platform and make major changes in how the company operates, sparking accolades from conservatives and outrage among liberals.