Judge blocks Texas social media censorship law
A federal judge has blocked Texas from enforcing a law that aimed to block social media companies from banning users based on political views.
Judge Robert Pitman issued the order Wednesday in favor of two industry associations that sued to block the Texas law.
“Social media platforms have a First Amendment right to moderate content disseminated on their platforms,” Pitman wrote.
The order underscored that social media platforms are “privately owned platforms” and not “common carriers.”
The Texas law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in September, would forbid social media companies with more than 50 million monthly users from banning users based on political views.
Renae Eze, a spokesperson for Abbott, said the state plans to appeal Pitman’s ruling.
“Allowing biased social media companies to cancel conservative speech is hostile to the free speech foundation America was built on. In Texas, we will always fight to defend Texans’ freedom of speech,” Eze said in a statement.
Florida passed a similar law targeting social media giants, but it was also blocked by a federal judge after the industry associations sued. Pitman cited that decision in his order about Texas.
The Computers and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and NetChoice, the groups that sued Texas and Florida, cheered the Wednesday order.
“This ruling upholds the First Amendment and protects internet users. Without this temporary injunction, Texas’s social media law would make the internet a more dangerous place by tying the hands of companies protecting users from abuse, scams, or extremist propaganda,” CCIA President Matt Schruders said in a statement.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.