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Woodhull Freedom Foundation Joins Human Rights Orgs, Files Amicus Brief Opposing Texas Social Media Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — May 18, 2022 — Washington, DC

Washington, D.C.— May 18, 2022 – The Woodhull Freedom Foundation and a coalition of free speech and human rights organizations have filed an amicus brief today asking the Supreme Court to block HB20, the controversial Texas social media law.

“Texas HB20 is a dangerous, misguided law that will do enormous harm to online safety and free expression,” says Ricci Joy Levy, CEO of Woodhull Freedom Foundation. “This law forces private platforms to allow hate speech and scientific misinformation and prevents them from addressing bullying and harassment. Sexual rights are human rights, and HB20 makes online existence less safe for marginalized populations, creating a chilling effect for those who speak openly about issues like sex, sexuality, gender identity, sex work, and sex education.”

“While HB20 would theoretically require platforms like Facebook and TikTok permit every type of sexual expression no matter how explicit, we know from historical practice that platforms will likely moderate with a heavy bias toward liability — over-censoring sexual speech and sexual communities while allowing hate and harassment to go unchecked.”

“As an organization, Woodhull fully recognizes the dangers of censorship. Following the passage of FOSTA in 2018, Woodhull filed a challenge to the law — a battle that we continue to fight as sex workers and sexual communities are blocked, banned, de-platformed, and otherwise censored online. Yet here we are asking the Court to recognize that rather than offering freedom from censorship, HB20 is an unprecedented attack on our freedom to exist and express ourselves safely online.”

Founded in 2003, the non-profit Woodhull Foundation fights for sexual freedom as a human right. Woodhull Freedom Foundation joins the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), the Wikimedia Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), R Street Institute, and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) in signing the brief.

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Polari Media LLC
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