Texas is censorship happy.
The Texas Social Media Law has faced challenges due to its banning censorship stipulation. Numerous parties and stakeholders had previously pushed for the law to be stopped.
Recently, the court of appeal has reinstated the law. The main stipulation of the law raising controversy is for organizations not to ban any social media users due to their viewpoints and political expressions.
Since the law has been reinstated, Texas can make effective strategies aimed at enforcing the law despite various backlashes from tech companies.
The tech companies argue that the law might promote the prevalence of hate speech on social media. The companies have for years been dedicated to stopping hate speech on their platforms.
History of the Texas Social Media Law
The Texas social media law was sponsored by Hughes and was filed on the tenth of August, 2021. After a week, the bill was tabled in the house for the first reading and later referred to the constitutional rights and remedies committee.
As it was tabled, Hughes argued that the bill was necessary due to the tendency of social media companies to ban people who give their political opinions and viewpoints on social media.
The bill also stipulated that citizens of Texas whose posts were deleted or banned from using the specific social media had the right to sue the company. At the time, three are over fifty million citizens who are eligible to sue.
The bill was officially effective from the ninth of September after being signed by the governor. By the time, tech companies had made various attempts to stop the bill. After it was accepted, they moved to the courts.
The Texas Social Media Law was eventually blocked by the court, until recently when the Court of Appeal reinstated the law. The social media companies are still seeking to have the law banned by the Supreme Court.
How the Texas Social Media Law Banning Censorship can be Enforced
Since the law has already been reinstated by the Court of Appeal, it is up to the state to effectively enforce stipulations. Nevertheless, the state must be sure to avoid advocating for the spread of hate speech in social media.
The state of Texas should pass a concurrent bill that prohibits social media users from engaging in hate speech. The law should protect both social media users and owners.
The state of Texas should mandate that social media owning companies to create awareness on the need to avoid hate speech. This move is more effective in the long run, as opposed to banning the users.
The state of Texas should also have a memorandum of understanding with the tech companies. The companies have to be aware that Texas is not trying to bring them down, but to protect the interest of the people.
What’s the Way Forward?
In brief, the Texas Social Media Law will continue to have backlash from tech companies. The state of Texas now ha to enforce the law since it has been reinstated.
The state should implement a strategy that protects all the stakeholders’ interests. The people of Texas, large social media companies, and the state government have interests in the Law.
Instead of seeking to have the law banned, the large social media companies should engage the state in seeking a way forward.