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Facebook, Google’s YouTube, Twitter fight Texas censorship law




Trump sues Facebook and Twitter for “blacklisting and canceling”

The claim that tech companies are prejudiced against conservatives has emerged as a top priority for rallying Republican foundations ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Associated Press, USA TODAY

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are subject to the new Texas Social Media Censorship Act Texas Governor Greg Abbott says social media is censoring conservative views.

Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Twitter will fight new Texas law cracking down on social media companies for conservative speech and censorship of former President Donald Trump.

Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who publicly supported the bill, signed the bill on Thursday, making Texas the second state to target businesses by restricting or removing off-rule content or accounts.

“Some social media companies have a dangerous move to silence conservative thoughts and values,” Abbott said in a press conference. “This is wrong and we don’t allow it in Texas.”

Texas law passed on the final day of the second special session summoned by Abbott allowed state residents banned from social media platforms to sue the platform for political views.

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The Attorney General may also file proceedings on behalf of a user or a group of users.

This is similar to Florida law that was blocked the day before it came into force by a federal judge in June.

Industry associations representing the technology industry have promised to challenge the law on the same basis that they challenged Florida law. They say Florida law is unconstitutional due to the flaws in the same First Amendment.

“The same result will almost certainly happen in Texas,” said Steve Del Bianco, president of NetChoice.

“User-submitted moderation is essential for Texas families to keep the Internet secure, but the bill puts the Texas government in charge of content policy,” he said.

Proponents of the new law welcomed its passage.

“Texas’ new law, House Building 20, is the most important move that Lone Star has taken to protect its members’ right to free speech,” said the conservative think-tank Heartland Institute’s state government relations. Manager Samantha Fillmore said.

“There is no doubt that big tech is essential to freedom of speech in today’s era,” she said. “Because of this, Big Tech can no longer unilaterally decide who can say what without being held accountable.”

While dozens of states are considering legislation that limits how social media platforms regulate people’s speech, few have acquired it so far.

These bills allegedly violated the First Amendment’s rights if social media posts were labeled or deleted, or if accounts were banned because they violated social media platform policies. It is sympathetic to the conservatives who think. The suspension of Trump from major platforms has affected the new bill.

“This move by Texas, a smasher of national affairs, could encourage other states to take such steps to show citizens that the United States is a place of free thought, speech and expression. It’s expensive, “said Fillmore.

Texas law spurs the First Amendment debate

The First Amendment protects people from federal censorship, not from private-sector content moderation decisions.

Social media companies say they aren’t targeting conservatives, only harmful statements that violate the rules.

Texas House Democrats warned in a recent hearing that a new law would prevent social media companies from removing harmful content. They proposed an amendment that allowed the removal of posts that encouraged Holocaust denial, terrorism, and disinformation of vaccines, but were defeated.

Adam Kovacevich, CEO of Chamber of Progress, a technology industry alliance that includes Facebook and Google, said:

“What is being said online not only stays online, but also spills over into people’s lives and affects our health, democracy, and our community,” he said. Said in a statement to.

New law punishes “censorship” conservatives, social media for Trump

Florida was the first state to push the bill when Trump’s ally Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill in May to penalize social media companies for removing or banning politicians’ remarks. bottom.

However, a federal judge temporarily blocked the new law after the proceedings were filed by NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a trade association representing Facebook, Google, and other tech companies. DeSantis is fascinating.

Texas law goes even further than Florida law because it applies to all users and prevents social media platforms from making decisions based on the “perspective” expressed in the post.

Republicans claim that powerful tech companies are biased towards conservatives, and have emerged as a top priority for rallying bases in the 2022 midterm elections.

Both Abbott and DeSantis are widely seen as Republican 2024 presidential candidates from Ozu, where there are many electoral votes. Abbott faces his first challenging Republican primary to become a re-elected governor.

“Big Tech’s efforts to silence conservative views are non-American, non-Texas, and unacceptable and will soon violate Texas law,” Abbott said in March. He said at the press conference he announced.

The Heartland Institute recently estimated that 70 bills in 30 states are challenging “Big Tech censorship.”

Republicans argue that strong tech companies are prejudiced and that “cancelling” conservatives has emerged as a top priority for rallying bases in the 2022 midterm elections.

Political observers say the Republicans are confident that they will boost voter registration, turnout, and funding to recapture the US House of Representatives and the Senate. It can also help Republicans at the state level.

Exiled from major social media platforms after the January 6 riots, Trump escalated the war with Big Tech when he filed proceedings against Facebook, Google, Twitter and his CEO in July.

Trump and the Republicans have raised money from the proceedings, but legal experts say it is virtually unlikely to succeed.

Is mainstream social media biased towards conservatives?

There has long been a perception that tech companies and the CEOs of the millionaires who run them are prejudiced against conservatives, but Trump calls “social media abuse” his administration and re-election campaign. It was strengthened because it was the main plan of.

After he lost his presidency, Trump attacked tech companies to label and remove posts that spread falsehoods about the outcome of the presidential election.

Dissatisfaction with ideological prejudice comes from the entire political spectrum, but it is difficult to prove that social media platforms are targeting a particular group. Technology companies make little disclosure about how to determine what is allowed and what is not.

Researchers at New York University, the University of Virginia, and others have found no evidence to support Republican dissatisfaction that social media companies are suppressing conservative voices. If anything, they say social media platforms are amplifying the voice of conservatives and shaping the worldview of millions of voters.

But for some conservatives, the 2020 election proved Big Tech’s idealistic bias. They curtailed the dissemination of New York Post articles that made unsubstantiated claims about Hunter Biden’s commerce, Trump’s ban on social media, and the removal of Parlor, a popular social media platform for political rights. Point out the technology companies that are.

According to an August report by the Pew Research Center, nine out of ten Republicans and independents who are republican-minded are at least to some extent likely to censor political views that social media platforms find unfavorable. , States a slight increase from 85% in 2018.




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