Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a invoice that goals to cease social media firms from banning customers or nixing posts based mostly solely on political views — the newest salvo by Republicans, who declare that these tech giants are censoring conservative customers.

The brand new legislation requires social media firms with greater than 50 million month-to-month customers to reveal their content material moderation insurance policies and institute an appeals course of. It might additionally require such social media firms to take away unlawful content material inside 48 hours. 

Underneath the state laws, customers might sue the platforms to get their accounts reinstated, and the Texas legal professional normal would be capable to file fits on behalf of customers. 

“We are going to all the time defend the liberty of speech in Texas, which is why I’m proud to signal Home Invoice 20 into legislation to guard first modification rights within the Lone Star State,” Abbott mentioned in a press release. “Social media web sites have change into our modern-day public sq.. They’re a spot for wholesome public debate the place data ought to be capable to circulate freely — however there’s a harmful motion by social media firms to silence conservative viewpoints and concepts. That’s flawed, and we won’t enable it in Texas.” 

The brand new legislation would have an effect on firms together with Fb, Twitter and YouTube. 

It is the newest Republican effort to tackle the social media giants; Florida just lately handed a legislation that will have prohibited social media platforms from banning political candidates, however a federal choose blocked the legislation earlier than it was purported to take impact. 

Some Republicans have for years claimed social media firms have an anti-conservative bias, complaints that grew after former President Trump was blocked from utilizing Twitter and Fb after his false claims concerning the 2020 presidential election led to the January 6 assault on the Capitol. 

Democrats, too, try to problem social media firms, albeit for various causes. The White Home has pushed social media firms like Fb to work extra rapidly to take away COVID-19 disinformation.