For years, conservatives have accused social media giants of censoring their free speech rights. Some states have fired back, passing laws preventing these companies from infringing on users’ rights.
Well, as you could imagine, the big tech giants took one state to federal court. But the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals did not rule the way these companies wanted.
From Fox News:
A federal appeals court upheld a Texas law on Friday that seeks to curb censorship by social media platforms. The ruling, a major victory for Republicans who charge companies like Twitter and Facebook are limiting free speech, is a step in a major legal battle that could end up at the Supreme Court.
So, here’s the skinny. Texas passed a law banning social networks from censoring users’ content.
Big social pushed back, getting a lower court to believe that being unable to censor users was an infringement on the companies’ First Amendment rights.
What a load, right?
The 5th Circuit Court judges did not agree. They blasted that reasoning and said social networks are no different than other telecommunication providers (like telephone companies).
The ruling means social networks do not have the right to censor users, especially over their political views.
The judges suggested that if social networks can ban users because of their political views, then what’s stopping phone companies or even banks from doing the same?
This decision is a big win for conservatives. But the battle is far from over. Most experts believe big tech will appeal this case to the Supreme Court.
If so, the decision will affect more than just Texas. How the SCOTUS rules will decide if social networks can in fact censor users over politics.
This will be a historic ruling, for a Supreme Court that has already made history again and again in recent years.
If the court sides with users, social media will no longer be able to ban someone over what they post.
But if the court sides with big tech, censorship will not be just limited to social media.