Headline RoundupMay 31st, 2022

Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Texas' Anti-Censorship Social Media Law

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The Supreme Court on Tuesday voted 5-4 to temporarily block Texas' anti-censorship law, which would restrict content moderation on social media platforms.

The law, HB 20, would block Big Tech companies such as Meta and YouTube from taking action on hate speech and disinformation based on a user's political "viewpoint." Justice Samuel Alito concluded that it's "not at all obvious how our existing precedents, which predate the age of the internet, should apply to large social media companies." Both sides will continue to debate the case in district court.

Prominent lobbying groups representing Big Tech companies have been petitioning against the Texas law, arguing that it would forbid online platforms from making independent editorial decisions to remove "objectionable" content. Conversely, top Republican leaders have argued that the tech industry's suppression of conservative viewpoints is a violation of the First Amendment. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) proposed a similar law last year, but a court of appeals ultimately blocked the measure last week. 

News sources across the spectrum labeled the anti-censorship law as "controversial" and noted that the measure will now face heavier opposition in lower courts. Left-rated outlets were more likely to emphasize how the law would tarnish the constitutional rights of technology companies. Some right-rated outlets highlighted the "unexpected alignment" of the ruling.

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