Tech trade groups sue Texas over social media law

Tech industry groups are suing Texas over the state’s recently passed law that aims to block social media companies from banning users based on political views.

The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and NetChoice co-filed the suit Wednesday, arguing the law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) earlier this month is unconstitutional and would undermine platforms’ ability to ban language including pro-Nazi speech, terrorist propaganda and medical misinformation. 

“These restrictions — by striking at the heart of protected expression and editorial judgment — will prohibit platforms from taking action to protect themselves, their users, advertisers, and the public more generally from harmful and objectionable matter,” the complaint states. 

The law forbids social media companies with more than 50 million monthly users from banning users based on their political views. Republicans have widely accused social media giants of censoring content with an anti-conservative bias, but there is a lack of evidence to back up their claims. 

Florida passed a similar law targeting social media giants, but a federal judge blocked it in June after CCIA and NetChoice challenged it in court. The decision is now on appeal. 

CCIA President Matt Schruers said if the Texas law were to remain in place it would pose additional risks of exposing Texans to disinformation, propaganda and extremism. 

“The law aside, it’s neither good policy nor good politics for Texas to make the Internet a safe space for bad actors, whether that be Taliban sympathizers or people encouraging kids to eat detergent pods,” Schruers said in a statement. 

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