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Facebook, YouTube and Twitter strike back, sue over Texas social media censorship law

Technology trade groups that represent Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Twitter are suing Texas to stop a new state law that cracks down on social media companies for censoring conservative speech.

Texas is the second state to target these companies for restricting or removing content or accounts.

A federal judge blocked a similar Florida law in June, one day before it could take effect after the trade groups, NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association, challenged the constitutionality of the law in court.

The trade groups say the Texas law in much the same way tramples the First Amendment rights of social media companies to moderate content by forcing them to host harmful speech including hate speech.

Steve DelBianco, president and CEO of NetChoice, says he expects a slew of bills in Republican-led states in 2022. How far reaching those bills are will depend on the outcome of the cases in Florida and Texas.

“Many of those states are waiting and watching to see whether this First Amendment barrier means they need to go back to the drawing board to try to come up with a very narrowly tailored piece of legislation,” DelBianco said.