Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill to prevent social media companies banning or nixing users based on only political opinions. This is the latest attack by Republicans who allege that tech giants like Facebook are restricting users of conservative views.
The new law demands that social media sites with over 50 millions monthly users disclose their content moderation policy and initiate an appeals procedure. These social media platforms would be required to delete illegal content in 48 time.
Users can sue platforms for their accounts to be reinstated. The Texas attorney general could file suit on users’ behalf.
” We will continue to defend freedom speech in Texas. That is why House Bill 20 was signed into law by Abbott in a statement. Social media sites have transformed our public space. These sites are an area for healthy debate and information flow should be free. However, there has been a disturbing trend by social media companies towards suppressing conservative views. This is wrong and it will not be tolerated in Texas.
The new law will affect all companies, including YouTube and Twitter.
This is the latest Republican attempt to challenge the giants of social media. A Florida law was passed recently that would have banned social media sites from banning candidates. However, a federal court blocked the law from taking effect.
Republicans have long claimed that social media platforms have anti-conservative biases. These complaints grew when former President Trump was prevented from using Twitter or Facebook following false allegations about the 2020 election. This led to the attack on Capitol Hill, January 6.
Democrats are also trying to take on social media companies but for very different reasons. The White House has pushed social media companies like Facebook to work more quickly to remove COVID-19 disinformation.