Anti-censor­ship laws: Soon hunting season on Face­book, Twitter and YouTube ?

Wikimedia: Panorama_of_United_States_Supreme_Court_Building_at_Dusk

By EDITOR | A battle has broken out in the US over the censor­ship prac­tices of major social media chan­nels such as Face­book, Twitter, Google or YouTube, TicToc and others. Conser­va­tive poli­ti­cians and lawyers from Repu­blican-ruled states are fighting new laws against partis­an­ship by the corpo­ra­tions, which they denounce as a suppres­sion of free speech.


The decision on a Texas law banning the current censor­ship prac­tice hangs in the air, with the Supreme Court having the final say. Its decision to leave the decision on the life rights of the unborn (Roe v. Wade) to state legis­la­tures sent shock waves through the liberal estab­lish­ment. The inter­pre­tive sove­reignty of left-wing Demo­crats and the liberal media could be severely damaged should the United States Supreme Court rule against corpo­rate censor­ship. Such a decision would trigger a wave of similar laws in other conser­va­tive states and would have global conse­quences, inclu­ding for Europe. It remains exciting…

Anti-censor­ship laws would open hunting season on social media groups

Texas law prohi­bits all social media plat­forms with more than 50 million monthly users from „blocking, prohi­bi­ting, remo­ving, de-plat­forming, demo­ne­ti­sing, de-boos­ting, rest­ric­ting, denying equal access or visi­bi­lity to, or other­wise discri­mi­na­ting against“ their content.

Texas, Amend­ment HB 20, link, link

Texas resi­dents could sue social media giants like Face­book, Twitter and YouTube in the future if their postings are censored. The corpo­ra­tions will also have to disc­lose their approach to mode­ra­ting content and their search and rating algo­rithms. Other Repu­blican-ruled states are plan­ning some­thing similar, which would signi­fi­cantly limit the power of corpo­ra­tions and presu­mably weaken censor­ship measures world­wide. In addi­tion, there are the not incon­siderable sums that are usually paid in fines in the USA, so there would also be the risk of major finan­cial losses.

The new law was initiated by Ken Paxton, a lawyer who was finan­ci­ally supported in his elec­tion campaign by the Poli­tical Action Committee of the Conser­va­tives (PAC), the PAC of the Texas Patriots (PAC Texas Patriots), because of his special achie­ve­ments. Among other things, he successfully fought the Corona vacci­na­tion requi­re­ment in Texas and stood up for the right to life of the unborn [link].

Free speech and youth suicides through social media

The law would have meant enormous rest­ric­tions and legal uncer­tain­ties for the social media giants and at the same time streng­thened citi­zens‘ liber­ties. The back­ground to this is the not unju­s­ti­fied criti­cism by conser­va­tives that the corpo­ra­tions are viola­ting the First Amend­ment through the censor­ship they exer­cise. The corpo­ra­tions argue their right to free speech, even though they are not citi­zens but only legal enti­ties. The conser­va­tives point to the mono­poly posi­tion of provi­ders such as Face­book Twitter, YouTube and TicToc, which is now so large that it should be regarded as critical infra­struc­ture, similar to the postal system or the elec­tri­city grid. As a result, citi­zens‘ freedom of speech is no longer guaranteed!

In addi­tion, harmful algo­rithms are being used to addict children and young people, but also all other age groups. Many algo­rithms have been deli­bera­tely deve­loped to damage the mental health of users. As a result, between 2009 and 2017, suicide attempts by young people increased by 25%, a trend that is still conti­nuing and has even increased [link]. Calls are ther­e­fore being made for greater protec­tion of people’s mental well-being.

The poli­tical left, on the other hand, as usual, does not think that the censor­ship poli­cies of the corpo­ra­tions go far enough, as they can only enforce their usually unpo­pular measures through censor­ship. The Demo­crats ther­e­fore want to impose even stronger rest­ric­tions on freedom of expres­sion than before on states governed by them [link]. As expected, the Black civil rights move­ment, the NAACP (National Asso­cia­tion for the Advance­ment of Colored People) and the LGBTQ lobby are on their side.

Legal wrang­ling in the courts

First, a district court over­ruled Texas‘ legal posi­tion, then that decision was reversed by the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, so the law applied again!Paxton wrote on Twitter:

Then the Supreme Court inter­vened and suspended the law for the time being [link]! It is still going through the courts. It is very possible that this issue will go to the Supreme Court, which will have to make a final decision.

Texas is not the only state that wants to inter­fere with the arbi­trary censor­ship measures of the tech giants: Florida (SB 7072), Michigan and Georgia have passed or are plan­ning to pass similar laws. A whole avalanche of other conser­va­tive states could follow!

Does the conser­va­tive tech clash prevail?

Given the conser­va­tive majo­rity on the US Supreme Court, most recently seen in the abor­tion ruling (Roe v Wade), the final decision could go against the tech giants.

Three justices on the high court who favoured a stay gave no reasons. Three other justices who rejected a tempo­rary stay of the Texas law agreed in their reaso­ning with that of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, seeing social media provi­ders with more than 50 million dome­stic users as part of the commu­ni­ca­tions infrastructure.

The result of the judi­cial vote was a close 5–4 in favour of a tempo­rary stay of the Texas law, and the judges also did not give reasons for their ruling. This could be a signal to other conser­va­tive states to pass similar laws [link].

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