NetChoice v. Texas
Woodhull, joined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), the R Street Institute, and the Wikimedia Foundation, filed an Amicus Brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to halt enforcement of Texas’ constitutionally questionable social media law, which allows the state to dictate what speech platforms must publish and may lead to more, not less, censorship of user expression as platforms face a storm of lawsuits.
The amicus brief says that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit erred last week when it lifted, without explanation, an injunction barring enforcement of the law. The order was put in place by a district court that found the law violated platforms’ First Amendment rights to curate content on their sites as they see fit.
Texas HB 20 prohibits Twitter, Facebook, and other big social media platforms from “censor[ing] a user, a users’ expression or a users’ ability to receive the expression of another person” based on the speaker’s viewpoint, whether expressed on or off the site, which covers nearly all common content moderation practices. It allows Texas residents or the state attorney general to sue platforms for any kind of negative treatment to a user or a post, including take down and down-ranking posts, and suspending, shadowing, or canceling accounts.
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