The law, called HB20, will ban social media platforms with more than 50,000 monthly users from removing or even republishing content based on the user’s “perspective”. This would include content that spreads misinformation or those who have committed heinous crimes, such as the Holocaust or sympathy for either of the many masses in the United States. As written, the law makes some exceptions: a platform may remove a user’s content if it violates a previously agreed-upon usage policy, And If the platform gives the user a chance to appeal. Platforms will still be able to remove content that incites violence or violates the law, such as in the case of child pornography.
Surprisingly, technology companies like Meta, Twitter and YouTube – all of which will be affected by the law – took issue at the moment of HB20’s promotion. After all, if enacted, the law would allow Texans and the state’s attorney general to sue any qualified company that “censors” their opinions online. Following the ruling of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the law could take effect in early May, with the tech giants submitting an urgent order to the Supreme Court to appeal the ruling.
They seem to have won – for now. Justices Amy Connie Barrett, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Brett Kavanagh and Chief Justice John Roberts voted Tuesday to block the HB20. This brings the law back to the district court, where both parties have to present their arguments for or against HB20.
This is unlikely to be the last time the Supreme Court has reviewed the Social Media Moderation Act. “Social media platforms have changed the way people communicate and receive news,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito. Dissent Justices Neil Gorsuch, Elena Cagan and Clarence Thomas joined. “The issue is a ground-breaking Texas law that addresses the power of influential social media corporations to shape public discussion of the day’s important issues.”
The Supreme Court’s decision comes just days after a federal court of appeals in Florida overturned a comparative law. That one, is called SB7072, Will empower state-of-the-art technology companies that similarly “censor” users who share controversial views. (Surprisingly, the companies that own a theme park একে AKA Disney, many of which drive the Florida Park State economy have been exempted.) Both the HB20 and SB7072 appear to have been persuaded to remove some conservative user posts or accounts on Facebook. . And Twitter, including former President Trump.