Saturday, September 25, 2021

Texas governor signs law allowing users to sue social media companies for suspension

Greg Abbott of Texas Gov. signed a bill passed by the GOP-led legislature designed to prevent social media companies from censoring users based on their political statements or viewpoints.

The measure was introduced earlier this year, but was delayed when dozens of Democrat state lawmakers left the state for refusing a Republican quorum and preventing the passage of a voting overhaul bill on which Abbott, a Republicans signed off several days earlier.

Abbott signed the social media bill, House Bill 20, on Thursday. It prevents companies from suspending users based on their politics and allows Texas residents to file suit to restore accounts that are believed to have been unfairly targeted and deleted. Namely, the law targeted platforms that have at least 50 million users, which would include Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

In a Facebook Live video, Governor Abbott said, “There is a dangerous movement by some social media companies to silence conservative views and values.” “It’s wrong and we won’t allow it in Texas.”

The Epoch Times has reached out to Facebook, Twitter and Google for comment.

In addition to allowing Texans to file suit, the law also allows the Texas Attorney General’s office to take action.

“We will always defend freedom of speech in Texas, which is why I am proud to sign House Bill 20 to protect First Amendment rights in the Lone Star state,” Abbott also said, referring to social media platform Moderna. work as. Public forums that allow people to engage in debate.

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However, Abbott said that within social media firms, there is a “dangerous” trend that he says is designed to “silence conservative attitudes and views”.

Scholar and anti-critical race theory activist Christopher Rufo said this week He received information that Google had launched an initiative internally to portray the United States as a “system of white supremacy.” In a slide obtained through an alleged whistleblower, This shows The “White Supremacy Pyramid” which includes commentator Ben Shapiro and former President Donald Trump and suggests it leads to mass murder and includes photographs of mass shooters Anders Breivik and Brenton Tarrant.

Florida passed a similar bill earlier this year, but it has faced legal challenges and hurdles in enforcement. The measure required firms to be open about their content-restraint policies and inform users about policy changes.

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A judge several months ago blocked enforcement of key provisions in the Florida law, claiming it violated the First Amendment and violated federal laws.

Since the 2020 election, some conservatives have argued for repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which serves as a liability shield for companies against harmful content posted by a user . Some have argued that tech companies have used the rule to exert too much power over the information people consume.

Jack Phillips

senior reporter

Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times in New York City.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

Texas governor signs law allowing users to sue social media companies for suspension
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