August 7, 2022

Supreme Court blocks Texas anti-censorship law

Big Tech is increasingly hostile to right-leaning viewpoints and unfairly censors them. Unfortunately, an attempt to level the playing field has been vetoed.

The U.S. Supreme blocked a Texas law that would have barred social media platforms from silencing speech based on political viewpoint, NPR reported. The 5-to-4 decision was handed down Tuesday.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had called the law a measure against “a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas.” It was intended to block social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok, which have more than 50 million active monthly users, from removing posts based on a political bent.

However, opponents of the law feel it would prevent companies from censoring extremist opinions like white supremacy or KKK propaganda. “As we debate how to stop more senseless acts of violence, Texas’s law would force social media to host racist, hateful, and extremist posts,” Big Tech lobbying firm Chamber of Progress’s CEO Adam Kovacevich said.

Others felt it would allow the government to overstep its bounds. In the end, Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Amy Coney Barrett, and Brett Kavanaugh, voted in favor of the emergency filing that sought to block the law, Fox Business News reported.

It was no surprise that Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Samuel Alito dissented. However, Justice Elena Kagan also joined though she did not disclose her reasoning.

Some officials, including Thomas, have called for changes to treat social media platforms like “common carriers.” This would subject them to the same federal regulations and laws as phone carriers and more closely align with their role in society.

It seems that social media companies get to have their cake and eat it by censoring opinions at will while maintaining their autonomy. This latest decision is a blow to conservatives and their right to have their voices heard on these public platforms.

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Margaret Knipp (@guest_1288343)
1 month ago

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