Appeals Court Upholds Texas Law Fighting Big Tech Censorship

Posted 4 days ago


The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a Big Tech umbrella group’s efforts to block House Bill 20, a law passed by the Republican-controlled State of Texas that prohibits political censorship by large social media platforms, in a major win for online freedom campaigners.

The bill is arguably the toughest and most significant restriction placed on Big Tech censorship passed by any state government, including Florida’s.

It declares social media companies to be akin to common carriers, a categorization that other Republican legislatures have shied away from. It also includes a straightforward ban on viewpoint-based censorship by online platforms.

The bill gives users of social media platforms a strong legal footing against the tech giants, giving them the right to obtain injunctive relief against the tech giants, overturning bans and other acts of censorship.

The law was challenged in court by NetChoice, a trade industry group representing Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, TikTok, Airbnb, PayPal, and a number of other major tech companies.

Obama-appointed U. S. District Judge Robert Pitman of Austin sided with NetChoice, and blocked the law shortly after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed it, but the 5th Circuit has now overturned that ruling.

In oral arguments before the appeals court, lawyers for the State of Texas argued that large social media platforms are public squares.

“These social media platforms control the modern-day public square, but they abusively suppress speech in that squa... (Read more)

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