Appeals Court In Texas Social Media Case Says Statute May Go Into Effect

BY Heather Greenfield
September 16, 2022

Washington – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has issued an opinion that would allow Texas’ ‘Fairness Doctrine for the Internet’ statute, HB 20, to take effect. It issued an order vacating the district court injunction of the Texas law, which would prohibit social media companies from removing dangerous or offensive content on their platforms.

This same panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had previously lifted the injunction of Texas HB 20 in May, without explanation. The Supreme Court overturned that order pending the court of appeals’ full ruling, issued today, on whether Texas’s social media law is constitutional.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association joined NetChoice in September of last year in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Texas’s social media law.

CCIA has advocated for free speech online for more than 25 years. This includes the First Amendment right for private businesses to determine what material is appropriate for their communities. 

The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“We strongly disagree with the court’s decision. Forcing private companies to give equal treatment to all viewpoints on their platforms places foreign propaganda and extremism on equal footing with decent Internet users, and places Americans at risk. ‘God Bless America’ and ‘Death to America’ are both viewpoints, and it is unwise and unconstitutional for the State of Texas to compel a private business to treat those the same.”

For media inquiries, please contact Heather Greenfield [email protected] 

 

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