On Tuesday, the United States Supreme court barred a Texan law that restraints giant social media firms from censoring or banning users based on viewpoint, backing two technology industry groups that debated that the GOP-backed move would turn social media platforms into havens of the despicable expression imaginable.
The judges granted the Computer & Communications Industry Association and NetChoice’s request with a 5/4 vote, which counts YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter as members, to bar the law. At the same time, the lawsuit continues after a lower court on 11th May let it go into effect.
Supreme Court of the US blocked the enforcement of a Texas state law that would bar the ability of large social media firms, including Twitter, YT, FB, &Insta, to control users’ posts based on viewpoints.Texas Governor said the measure was a reaction to a dangerous movements. pic.twitter.com/gHfwerpYjC
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) June 1, 2022
As part of the lawsuit, the industry groups claimed that the law violated companies’ free speech rights, including editorial control over their platforms, under the Constitution’s First Amendment. In a written conflict, Conservative Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch wrote that existing precedents preexist the internet age and should not be applied to giant social media companies. Liberal Justice Elena Kagan similarly disagreed without giving a reason.
The GOP governor signed the state’s GOP-led legislature into law. However, right-wing commentators and conservatives in the U.S. are complaining that “Big Tech” is suppressing their views. An important example they cite is Twitter’s permanent suspension of former President Donald Trump, a Republican, shortly after 6th January 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol, and the company cited “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
As part of the law, companies with more than fifty million monthly active users are prohibited from censoring users based on their “viewpoint” and can be sued to enforce the law by users or the Texas attorney general. During his signing speech last September, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said social media firms are engaging in a dangerous campaign to silence conservative voices. There is nothing right about this, and his government will not allow it in Texas.