Two Republican judges just let Texas seize control of Twitter and Facebook

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Conflicting lower court rulings about removing controversial material from social media platforms point toward a landmark Supreme Court decision on whether the First Amendment protects Big Tech’s editorial discretion or forbids its censorship of unpopular views. A panel of the conservative United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed down an opinion, effectively holding that the state of Texas may seize control of content moderation on major social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Governments that say conservative voices are the ones most often eliminated by the decisions of tech companies scored a major victory with the ruling, as the law now bars companies from removing posts based on political ideology. The stakes are rising not just for the government and the companies, but because of the increasingly dominant role platforms such as Twitter and Facebook play in American democracy and elections. Social media posts have the potential to amplify disinformation or hateful speech, but the removal of controversial viewpoints can stifle public discourse about important political issues. However, legal experts closely tracking the case said the 5th Circuit decision is at odds with long-standing court precedent and warned that the Texas law would force the companies to disseminate what they consider misinformation and harmful content on their platforms.

Two Republican judges just let Texas seize control of Twitter and Facebook A landmark Supreme Court fight over social media now looks likely