NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) have sued to stop Texas from enforcing HB 20, a new law barring large social media companies from banning users or removing content based on the “viewpoint” of the user. The tech industry groups’ suit comes two weeks after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill, and it follows a lawsuit that successfully blocked a similar rule in Florida.
HB 20 is one of multiple state-level efforts to make companies like Facebook and Twitter leery of moderating the accounts of conservative users. Texas lawmakers have positioned the bill as an anti-censorship provision, but NetChoice and the CCIA argue that it — like the Florida law before it — violates companies’ First Amendment rights to choose what speech they host.
In a call with reporters, NetChoice president and CEO Steve DelBianco clarified that the plaintiffs aren’t immediately challenging a portion of the rule barring “censorship” on email services because they’re targeting what they see as the most immediately vulnerable sections of the law.