One of the hottest-button topics in recent months is the role of social media in creating safe spaces online.
Whether you believe social media should censor hate or let the free speech flow, everyone’s got a strong opinion on the issue.
One federal court decision may be settling the debate – for now.
In Texas, an ongoing court case has looked at the idea of instituting a law banning tech companies from moderating content based on their viewpoints. The Supreme Court blocked the law, but the battle raged on.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas overturned the block today, saying that the Texas law must be upheld. This is likely setting up a showdown with the Supreme Court in the near future.
Conservative leaders around the country have accused tech giants of censoring them and pushing a “liberal agenda,” pushing the tech companies to pledge not to discriminate based on political belief or point of view.
The Texas law would force the companies to prove that they’re moderating equitably, and not targeting voices that their boards disagree with.
Judge Andrew Stephen Oldham, appointed by former prez Donald Trump, argued that the First Amendment doesn’t protect the right of corporations to “muzzle speech.”
Tech companies are expected to add appeals to a case that goes before the Supreme Court, and anti-hate advocacy groups decry the decision as opening the door to more online hate and vitriol. Legal experts also suggest that it interferes with corporations’ rights to determine the content on their own platforms.