Texas is one step closer to passing a law that would make it harder for social media companies to moderate political content. Both the Texas House and Senate approved the bill earlier this week and sent it to Governor Greg Abbott’s office.
The bill would make it illegal for social media companies with more than 50 million users, such as Facebook and Twitter, to censor users and content based on political views or geographic location. This includes moderation actions such as banning, deplatforming or demonetizing users and deleting posts.
The bill initially failed in a special session earlier this year as Democrats fled the state to block the passage of controversial party laws, including measures to ban abortions once. a fetal heartbeat is detected and new voting restrictions. The “censorship” bill on social media was revived in a second special session in July. It was approved late on Monday in the House of Representatives and late on Tuesday evening in the Senate.
It is unclear when Abbott will be allowed to sign the bill. His office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The edge.
Texas is the second state to pass a bill to fight the alleged censorship of conservatives online. In May, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a similar measure that would fine platforms for banning political candidates. The law was blocked in June by a judge of the U.S. District Court in Florida. The judge wrote that much of the text of the bill was “completely contrary to accepted constitutional principles”.
The Texas bill could suffer a similar fate, experts say. “While the language in the Texas bill is different, the outcome will be the same because the First Amendment protects against government interference in editorial discretion,” TechFreedom advisor Ari Cohn said in a statement Wednesday.
The bill was widely opposed by Democrats, but many did not attend the vote as they protested other controversial measures led by Republicans.