Greg Abbott calls out ‘dangerous’ censorship after signing new social media bill into law

Katie R. Ochoa

The governor named platforms like Twitter a very important ‘public square’ for discourse, and seeks to ‘protect’ Texans in opposition to social media bans.

Photo of Dan Carson

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 24: Texas Governor Greg Abbott participates in a news briefing outside the West Wing after an Oval Office announcement with President Trump March 24, 2017 at the White House in Washington, DC. Charter Communications announced that the company is opening a call center in McAllen, Texas, creating 600 jobs. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 24: Texas Governor Greg Abbott participates in a news briefing exterior the West Wing following an Oval Business announcement with President Trump March 24, 2017 at the White Household in Washington, DC. Constitution Communications announced that the corporation is opening a phone middle in McAllen, Texas, producing 600 positions. (Picture by Alex Wong/Getty Photographs)

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas governor Greg Abbott signed a bill Thursday night time that can take aim at big social media firms more than what he dubbed “wrongful” political censorship of conservative people on their platforms.

Amid statements that these platforms are instantly and unjustly focusing on the Correct, the language in Home Monthly bill 20, now regulation, tends to make it unlawful for social media behemoths with extra than 50 million regular consumers to ban accounts “for their political viewpoints,” for every The Texas Tribune. The regulation also phone calls for platforms this kind of as Facebook and Twitter to make material moderation insurance policies community and to create techniques of appeals for end users who believe that they’ve been wrongfully moderated, among the other provisions. 

Abbott posted a video to Twitter Thursday night time conveying his tactical reasoning at the rear of the legislation.

“Freedom of speech is beneath assault in Texas,” Abbott decried. “There is a risky movement by some social media organizations to silence conservative thoughts and values. Currently I’m about to indication a regulation that fights back again towards significant tech political censorship.”

Texas’ hottest controversial legislation follows a equivalent social media censorship monthly bill that was handed by Florida governor Ron DeSantis but was speedily blocked in July by a federal choose.

DeSantis’ edition sought to “prevent the censorship of Floridians by Big Tech,” and gave the state the correct to levy fines of up to $250,000 per day upon any social media corporation that “de-platforms any [political] prospect for statewide place of work.” As claimed by CBS Information, U.S. District Choose Robert Hinkle granted a preliminary injunction versus the legislation after it was challenged in federal court by a company representing a consortium of social media corporations which includes Twitter and Facebook.

Will Abbott’s endeavor to limit social media system fare any greater than its Florida counterpart? Perhaps, but it won’t be quick.


The language in Texas’ new bill is specially aimed at halting bans of consumers “dependent on their political viewpoints”—a nebulous framing that leaves much to particular person interpretation. Extra most likely, Abbott’s attempt to dictate the conduct of non-public companies dependent outside Texas’ jurisdiction will provide far more as pointed political messaging than serious, actionable lawmaking. At the very minimum, a decline on this battleground nevertheless appears to be excellent to donors.



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