A federal judge blocked one Texas law it would have allowed users in the state who were banned from social media platforms to sue these companies for alleged censorship.
U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman of the Western District of Texas blocked the law on Wednesday, just a day before it was due to take effect. It was reported by NBC News. The law, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 9, would limit how social media companies moderate their content.
The law was cheered on by Republicans, who have shouted “censorship” when banned from social media platforms for their posts. The law would have allowed social media users who believe a platform has wrongfully censored their views to sue social media platforms and potentially obtain legal fees.
In its decision, Pitman quoted the first change rights for privately owned social media companies.
“This Court is convinced that social media platforms, or at least those covered by [House Bill] 20, curate both users and content to convey a message about the type of community the platform seeks to promote and as such exercise editorial judgment over the content of their platform, ”wrote Pitman.
Two industry groups, NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association, filed lawsuits to block the law in September.
NetChoice President and CEO Steve DelBianco said Wednesday’s decision was the right one.
“[House Bill] 20 would trigger a tidal wave of offensive content and hate speech that plagues users, creators and advertisers, “DelBianco said in a statement.” Thanks to the decision made today, social media can continue to provide services of high quality to Americans while keeping them safe from irresponsible users and offensive content. “
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