Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association has co-filed a lawsuit with NetChoice against an unconstitutional law in Texas that would discourage any companies that allow user-generated content from enforcing policies against dangerous content online.
The Texas social media legislation sets a dangerous precedent by prohibiting “censoring” based on “viewpoint.” This would compel private companies to host everything from Nazi propaganda to anti-American extremism or risk being sued. The First Amendment protects citizens and private companies from being compelled to speak.
CCIA has advocated for free speech online for more than 25 years. This includes the First Amendment right for private companies to determine what material is appropriate for their communities. The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:
“By tying digital services’ hands, this unconstitutional law will put Texans at greater risk of exposure to disinformation, propaganda, and extremism. There are few First Amendment fouls clearer than regulating based on viewpoint. 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.
“By constraining businesses’ free speech rights, the Texas law puts anti-American rhetoric on equal footing with God Bless America. Compelling digital services to treat all political viewpoints – even Nazis and white supremacists – equally to those of everyday Americans is bad policy, bad politics, and unconstitutional. Texas’s Fairness Doctrine for the internet won’t survive this challenge.”