Texas law could force social media to host misinformation and hate speech

US and Texas flags seen in daytime outside the Texas State Capitol Building.

Enlarge / US and Texas flags flying outside the Texas State Capitol building in Austin. (credit: Getty Images | PA Thompson)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott yesterday signed a ban on social media “censorship” into law, imposing new restrictions on tech companies that are certain to spark a court battle similar to one happening in Florida.

Industry groups slammed the newly enacted legislation as “unconstitutional.” The law “seeks to punish social media companies for following policies that protect Internet users from dangerous content online,” according to the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA).

The CCIA previously sued Florida to block a state law that would have made it illegal for social media companies to ban politicians. US District Judge Robert Hinkle sided with the tech industry in June, granting a preliminary injunction that blocks the law because it violates the First Amendment rights of companies that moderate user content on their online platforms.

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