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Two GOP judges just gave Texas control over Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube

United States Court of Appeals
the Fifth Circuit
the Supreme Court
Academic and Institutional Rights (2006
the Ku Klux Klan
The Fifth Circuit’s
the Supreme Court’s
Citizens United
New York Times
slurs?The Fifth Circuit’s
the Republican Party of Texas
the Fifth Circuit’s

Greg Abbott
Donald Trump
Jim Crow
Robert Pitman
Leslie Southwick
George W. Bush
Edith Jones
Ronald Reagan
Andy Oldham
Samuel Alito
Clarence Thomas


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the United States

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The New York Times
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The First Amendment doesn’t apply to Republicans anymore?The conservative United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed down a brief, unexplained order Wednesday evening that will throw the entire social media industry into turmoil if the Texas law at issue in this case is allowed to remain in effect.The decision in NetChoice v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (2006), “this Court’s leading First Amendment precedents have established the principle that freedom of speech prohibits the government from telling people what they must say.”The Texas law prohibits a social media platform “that functionally has more than 50 million active users in the United States in a calendar month” from banning a user — or even from regulating or restricting a user’s content or altering the algorithms that surface content to other users — because of that user’s “viewpoint.” The law only applies to Texas residents, businesses that operate in Texas, or to anyone who “shares or receives content on a social media platform in this state.” Practically speaking, however, a social media company could struggle to identify which users view social media content within the state of Texas, and which businesses have Texas operations. Courts may also “hold the social media platform in contempt” and “use all lawful measures to secure immediate compliance” if a social media company resists an unconstitutional court order requiring it to involuntarily publish content.The Texas law, in other words, would effectively turn every single major social media platform into 4chan — a cesspool of racial slurs, misogyny, and targeted harassment that the platforms would be powerless to control, unless they wanted to enact such sweeping content moderation policies that their platforms would become unusable. And courts have long allowed some communication forums to be classified as common carriers, such as telephone companies and broadband providers.But, as Judge Robert Pitman explained in his opinion blocking the Texas law — the opinion that was just stayed by the Fifth Circuit — there are very important distinctions between a company like Facebook or Twitter, and a phone company or internet service provider.Common carriers, Pitman explains, act “as a passive conduit for content posted by users.” Your phone company does not monitor your calls to make sure that you aren’t saying anything offensive to the people that you speak with.

As said here by Ian Millhiser