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Progressive justice...

US judge suspends Texas internet law intended to stop social media companies from censoring right leaning opinions


Link Here3rd December 2021
Full story: Biased Internet Censorship in US...Left leaning media companies cancel the right
A us judge has banned a Texas state internet law that banned large internet companies from censoring user content on the basis of political bias.

Texas' HB 20 law, passed a few months ago, bans online platforms with over 50 million monthly active users from censoring content based on a users' viewpoint. The law focuses on restricting social platforms' ability to censor content, although it contains some provision to get illegal content removed faster.

Judge Robert Pitman granted an injunction filed by NetChoice and CCIA to put HB 20 on hold until the case is complete. The judge argues that the law violates the First Amendment rights of social media companies.

The judge insisted that the government cannot dictate what content a social media company is allowed or not allowed to publish.

Private companies that use editorial judgment to choose whether to publish content -- and, if they do publish content, use editorial judgment to choose what they want to publish -- cannot be compelled by the government to publish other content.

According to the court, viewpoint discrimination can be deemed editorial discretion, which is a principle protected by the First Amendment.

The law also requires large social media companies to provide detailed reports of their content moderation decisions. The court ruled that requirement is inordinately burdensome given the unfathomably large numbers of posts on these sites and apps.

 

 

Updated: Unbanning the right...

Bill preventing political censorship by social media companies passes in the Texas House of Representatives


Link Here11th September 2021
Full story: Biased Internet Censorship in US...Left leaning media companies cancel the right
The Texas House has passed House Bill 20, which addresses social media censorship, by a vote of 77 to 49. The bill now awaits approval by the state's senate.

The proposed law would make it illegal for social media platforms with more than 50 million users to censor the content of Texans based on viewpoint or geographical location.

The bill defines censorship as any action taken to edit, alter, block, ban, delete, remove, deplatform, demonetize, de-boost, regulate, restrict, inhibit, inhibit the publication or reproduction of, or deny equal access or visibility to expression, to suspend a right to post, remove, or post an addendum to any content or material posted by a user, or to otherwise discriminate against expression.

Update: Signed into law

11th September 2021. See article from cbsnews.com

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill that aims to stop social media companies from banning users or nixing posts based solely on political opinions.

The new law requires social media companies with more than 50 million monthly users to disclose their content moderation policies and institute an appeals process. It would also require such social media companies to remove illegal content within 48 hours.

Under the state legislation, users may sue the platforms to get their accounts reinstated, and the Texas attorney general would be able to file suits on behalf of users.

Abbott said in a statement:

We will always defend the freedom of speech in Texas, which is why I am proud to sign House Bill 20 into law to protect first amendment rights in the Lone Star State. Social media websites have become our modern-day public square. They are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely 204 but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas. That is wrong, and we will not allow it in Texas.

 

 

Biased views...

Florida judge temporarily blocks law preventing social media companies from cancelling right leaning views


Link Here2nd July 2021
Full story: Biased Internet Censorship in US...Left leaning media companies cancel the right
Florida's social media censoring bill has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge. The judge ruled that the law was an overreach, saying it compels providers to host speech that violates their standards.

The law would have let the state fine social media platforms, if they censor or ban politicians or political candidates, and gives regular users the ability to sue a platform if they are removed without explanation.

The law would have gone into effect July 1.

Supporters of the law, including Representative John Snyder, said it was an effort to keep big tech companies from picking and choosing who gets a voice on their platforms. If the law is scrapped, Snyder said he would support trying again to get a similar law on the books in future sessions.

 

 

Iran taken down...

US authorities seize websites used by Iranian news services including the international propaganda channel Press TV


Link Here25th June 2021
Full story: Press TV...Political censoship merges with TV censorship
The US has taken down dozens of Iranian and Iran-linked news sites which it accuses of spreading disinformation.

The sites were replaced on Tuesday with notices saying they had been seized as part of a law enforcement action. They included Iran's state-run English-language propaganda channel, Press TV.

The US Department of Justice said in a statement that it had seized 33 websites used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU) and another three run by the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq in violation of US sanctions. The sites had been used by components of the Iranian government disguised as news organizations or media outlets to target the US with disinformation campaigns and malign influence operations, it alleged.

Several were back online within hours with new domain addresses.

Iran criticised the seizures and warned that they were not constructive for talks aimed at reviving a nuclear deal.

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