Texas law allowing users to sue social network for censorship now goes into effect

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has pause A temporary injunction against controversial law HB 20, which was blocked by another court last year from taking effect.as houston public media Note that the state introduced HB 20 last year after high-profile conservatives, including Donald Trump, blocked on social media sites. Under the law, users will be able to sue large social media platforms with more than 50 million monthly active users, such as Facebook and Twitter, if they believe their political views are banned. HB 20 also prohibits social networks from removing or restricting content based on “the views of users or others.”

Trade industry group NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) managed to secure an injunction against the law last year. They argued that HB 20 would lead to the spread of misinformation and hate speech on social networks, and also violated the site’s First Amendment rights.The federal judge overseeing the case agreed that social networks have the right to moderate content under the First Amendment, and said Some parts of the law are “very vague”.

At a hearing in Texas’ appeal, the state’s lawyers argued that the social media platform was a “modern public square.” This means they may be required to host content they deem objectionable and banned from censoring certain views. Fifth Circuit judges sided with Texas, and one of them even told trade groups at the hearing that social networks like Twitter are not websites, but “internet providers.”

NetChoice’s attorney Chris Marchese called HB 20 “an attack on the First Amendment” and “constitutionally rotted from top to bottom” on Twitter. Trade groups plan to appeal immediately, but for now, HB 20 is in full effect.

Last year, a federal court blocked a similar law in Florida after a judge ruled it violated Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields online platforms from liability for content posted by their users. Florida is also appealing the decision, which will be ruled by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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