If the Texas legislature passes a bill to ban social media companies from censoring users based on viewpoint, Governor Greg Abbott would sign it. The move was prompted by these companies blocking and banning mostly supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Senate Bill 12 would allow the Attorney General to sue a social media company on behalf of users if the company blocks users from sharing opinions online.
Gov. Abbott spoke about the “dangerous movement…spreading across the country to try to silence conservative ideas, religious beliefs.” He called what Big Tech is doing un-American and un-Texan. From The Blaze:
“Conservative speech will not be canceled in the state of Texas,” Abbott said. “We see that the First Amendment is under assault by the social media companies, and that is not going to be tolerated in Texas.”
“Senator Hughes’ bill, Senate Bill 12, protects Texans from being wrongfully censored on social media, making sure that their voices are going to be heard and not canceled or silenced,” he continued. He said websites like Facebook and Twitter have “evolved” into a “modern-day public square” but complained that those platforms have begun controlling the flow of information.
Social media companies deny that they censor conservative users but enforce standards against users who promote violence, hate speech, etc. But these companies, run by leftists, can decide that supporting a particular political candidate is “hate speech. Opposing homosexuality or abortion can be considered “hate speech.”
SB 12, sponsored by Senator Bryan Hughes, acknowledges that social media platforms are now public forums for public debate. Banning conservatives from the public square of these high-profile online sites is akin to suppression. Private companies have the right, in theory, to do so, but they become something else when they grow large and influential enough to sway elections.