Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) introduced on Friday that he plans to signal a invoice into regulation that might prohibit social media firms from censoring Texans’ viewpoints on-line, including that censorship is “not going to be tolerated in Texas.”
“We see that the First Amendment is under assault by these social media companies, and that is not going to be tolerated in Texas,” mentioned Governor Abbott at a press convention on Friday alongside State Senator Bryan Hughes (R).
“There is a dangerous movement spreading across the country trying to try to silence conservative ideas, religious beliefs,” the governor added. “We saw that first arise on college campuses.”
In 2019, Governor Abbott signed into regulation the “Campus Free Speech” regulation, guaranteeing that college students’ First Amendment rights could be protected on school campuses.
“But now,” Abbott continued, “these social media tech companies are using their tools to silence conservative speech on their platforms.”
The governor added that senator Hughes’ Senate Bill 12 will shield Texans “from being wrongfully censored on social media, making sure that their voices are going to be heard and canceled or silenced.”
Abbott went on to notice that social media websites like Facebook and Twitter “have evolved into the modern-day public square.”
“These are the areas that used to be the courthouse square where people would come and talk,” mentioned Abbott. “Now, people are going to Facebook and Twitter to talk about their political ideas, and what Facebook and Twitter are doing — they are controlling the flow of information, and sometimes denying the flow of information.”
“Texas is taking a stand against big tech political censorship. We are not going to allow it in the Lone Star state,” Governor Abbott affirmed.
The governor defined that Senator Hughes’ laws will prohibit social media firms from censoring Texans primarily based upon their viewpoints.
“It would also allow any Texan who has been canceled or censored or de-platformed to be able to file a lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook, or any of these other companies, and make sure they are able to get back on,” mentioned Abbott.
“The United States of America was built on freedom of speech and healthy public debate,” the governor added. “Big tech’s efforts to silence conservative viewpoints is un-American, un-Texan, and it is unacceptable. And pretty soon, it’s going to be against the law in the state of Texas.”
Senator Hughes additionally expressed his issues relating to Americans being “locked out social media for not conforming to a narrow worldview” permitted by the political left, and defined why it ought to be unlawful for social media firms to behave on this method.
“We don’t allow your phone company to cut you off because they don’t like your politics, your cable company can’t cut you off because of your religion,” mentioned Hughes. “These social media companies are common carriers. They have chosen to enter into that business, and they cannot discriminate against people in a violation of the First Amendment.”
Governor Abbott says that he appears to be like ahead to signing the invoice into regulation.