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A ?Radical? Ruling Lets Texas Ban Social Media Moderation


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The New York Times
SOURCE: https://www.wired.com/story/texas-social-media-moderation-ban
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Summary

Ars is owned by WIRED's parent company, Condé Nast.A US District Court judge had granted a preliminary injunction blocking the law in December, ruling that it violates the social networks' First Amendment right to moderate user-submitted content. No one—not lawyers, not judges, not experts in the field, not even the law's own sponsors—knows what compliance with this law looks like,” Barthold said.In a tweet, Paxton called the ruling a “BIG WIN against BIG TECH,” adding, “I look forward to continuing to defend the constitutionality of HB 20.” The state law says that a “social media platform may not censor a user” based on the user's “viewpoint” and defines “censor” as “block, ban, remove, deplatform, demonetize, de-boost, restrict, deny equal access or visibility to, or otherwise discriminate against expression.” The Texas attorney general or users can sue social media platforms that violate this ban and win injunctive relief and reimbursement of court costs, the law says.Oral arguments were held on Monday this week, and the judges “seemed to struggle with basic tech concepts,” Protocol reported. We will do what is necessary to ensure that the free market, not government fiat, decides what speech digital services do and do not disseminate.”When the Texas law was enacted in September 2021, the industry groups said the law could force social media to host misinformation and hate speech, and that it “seeks to punish social media companies for following policies that protect internet users from dangerous content online.”NetChoice and CCIA separately won an injunction blocking a Florida law that would make it illegal for large social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to ban politicians and impose other restrictions on the tech companies.

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