Texas Bans Social Networks Booting Users Over Politics

Texas Bans Social Networks Booting Users Over Politics a facebook logo with a smart phone in the facebook logo colors with the world censored showing on the screen (Dreamstime)

Thursday, 09 September 2021 10:37 PM

Texas on Thursday made it illegal for popular social media platforms to ban users "simply based on their political viewpoints."

Political conservatives have accused Facebook, Twitter, and other social media giants of stifling their voices, providing no evidence to support the claims.

Social media platforms have consistently defended themselves against such accusations.

Former President Donald Trump was booted from Facebook and Twitter after a group of his supporters stormed the Capitol in January protest amid allegations of election fraud.

An unarmed Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed by a police man while she was storming the Capitol. Social media companies claimed they were concerned Trump would use social media to incite further protests.

"Social media websites have become our modern-day public square," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said after signing the bill into law Thursday.

"They are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely – but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas."

The law bars social media platforms with more than 50 million users from banning people based on their political viewpoints.

The law was expected to run afoul of Constitutional rights of private businesses to decide what is voiced on their platforms.

"This bill abandons conservative values, violates the First Amendment, and forces websites to host obscene, antisemitic, racist, hateful, and otherwise awful content," said Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice trade association.

"Moderation of user posts is crucial to keeping the Internet safe for Texas families, but this bill would put the Texas government in charge of content policies."