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Texas is about to pass a law that bans Facebook from banning conservatives

Wait, I thought they hated government overreach?

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Image: KnowTechie

UPDATE 6/1/2022 9:01 AM ET: The Supreme Court has blocked a controversial law in Texas that required Facebook and other social platforms to halt the moderation of posts from individuals on the platform. The temporary ban is in place as an underlying case proceeds in lower courts.

Texas Governor Greg Abbot looks like he’s about to sign a new bill into law, one that makes it harder for social media platforms like Facebook to moderate any political content. Both the House and the Senate in Texas approved the bill earlier this week, sending it to Abbot’s desk for the final flourish.

If signed, the new law would make it so any social media company with more than 50 million users couldn’t censor users or content based on “political views or geographic location.” The wide-sweeping language used includes most moderation actions, like banning, deplatforming, demonetizing users, or deleting content.

If the platforms don’t comply, the bill allows any resident of Texas to sue the company that took the moderating action. It also includes a provision for the state attorney general to be able to sue on behalf of a user or a group of users.

It’s not the only time a state has tried to get special provisions against social media companies. Back in May, Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, signed a similar bill into law that levied fines against platforms that ban any political candidates. That didn’t last long as an actual law, as a Florida US District Court judge blocked it in June, saying it was unconstitutional.

That prior block might mean the Texan law will also be short-lived. Ari Cohn, of the TechFreedom counsel, stated on Wednesday that “while the language in Texas’s bill is different, the outcome will be the same because the First Amendment protects against government intrusion into editorial discretion.”

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