Supreme Court Blocks Texas Social Media Law

Photo by Mr. Kjetil Ree. via Wikimedia Commons

From AB

The law would have allowed users to sue online platforms if they were banned because of their political points of view.

Critics argued the law would unleash a hate speech and misinformation free-for-all on social media.

The court’s order blocks the state from enforcing the law for now. According to the Wall Street Journal, the emergency ruling was 5-4 and the majority did not issue an opinion explaining their reasoning, as is customary of emergency rulings.

However, Justice Samuel Alito filed a dissent joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch. Justice Elena Kagan was the fourth dissenting vote, but she did not join the opinion.

The law would prohibit media platforms with at least 50 million active monthly users from censoring them on the basis of their viewpoints, which would apply to sites including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Texas residents and anyone doing business in the state would be empowered to sue platforms for alleged violations and pursue court orders to restore content.

In his dissent, Alito said it was premature for the Supreme Court to become involved in “a ground-breaking Texas law hat addresses the power of dominant social media corporations to shape public discussion of the important issues of the day.”

Alito said he had “not formed a definitive view” on the issues involved, but emphasized that “it is not at all obvious how our existing precedents, which predate the age of the internet, should apply to large social-media companies.”

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