The judicial fight about whether should be legal or not to remove posts and users from social media that spread pro-Nazi speech, terrorist propaganda, foreign government disinformation, and medical misinformation has made its way to the Supreme Court.
After several lawsuits and appeals, Net Choice and the Computer & Communications -the companies that own social media platforms like Twitter and Google- requested the Supreme Court to block the Texas law that prohibits removing users or posts because of “political viewpoints”, according to Texas Tribune.
In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court justices decided to block the law last Tuesday.
House Bill 20, the law in dispute, establishes that any social media platform with more than 50 million monthly users that removes or bans a user over his viewpoints could be sued by the affected person.
Additionally, House Bill 20 obligates social media platforms to be transparent about the users removed and the reasons why they were removed. These same restrictions apply to the posts that are banned, according to San Antonio Current.
This law surged from the alleged anti-conservative bias that Republican affiliates sensed in platforms like Twitter after the ban of former president Donald Trump and the other 70 million accounts that were involved in conspiracy groups that organized the January 6th capitol riots in 2019, according to Texas Tribune.
The thing is Twitter doesn’t ban users from viewpoints. The terms and conditions of the platform established very simple game rules: no bullying, no hate speech, no dangerous misinformation, and no graphics.
Last fall, Net Choice and Computer & Communications sued to block this law. Matt Schruers, the president of Computer & Communications argued that they were protecting the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment; Private companies have the right to choose their terms and conditions.
A federal district judge ruled in favor of the two companies and prevented the law from going into effect. But Ken Paxton, general attorney of Texas, didn´t agree with the court decision and brought the case to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has three out of five conservative justices. The law was reinstated according to the Texas Tribune.
Finally, the case made its way to the U. S. Supreme Court, which has ruled in favor of the two companies. For the second time, the law is blocked.