Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill passed by the GOP-led legislature that is designed to stop social media companies from censoring users based on their political statements or viewpoints.
The measure was introduced earlier this year but was delayed when dozens of Democrat state lawmakers left the state to deny Republicans quorum and block the passage of a voting overhaul bill that Abbott, a Republican, signed several days ago.
House Bill 20, the social media bill, was signed by Abbot on Thursday. It prevents companies from suspending users based on their politics and allows Texas residents to file lawsuits to reinstate accounts that are deemed to have been unfairly targeted and removed. Namely, the legislation targeted platforms that have at least 50 million users, which would include Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, among others.
“There is a dangerous movement by some social media companies to silence conservative ideas and values,” said Gov. Abbott in a Facebook live video. “This is wrong and we will not allow it in Texas.”
The Epoch Times has contacted Facebook, Twitter, and Google for comment.
Other than allowing Texans to file lawsuits, the law also allows the Texas Attorney General’s office to take action.
“We will always defend the freedom of speech in Texas, which is why I am proud to sign House Bill 20 into law to protect first amendment rights in the Lone Star State,” Abbott also said, echoing arguments that social media platforms serve as modern public forums that should allow people to engage in debate.
Abbott, however, said that within social media firms, there is a “dangerous” trend that he said is designed to “silence conservative viewpoints and ideas.”
Scholar and anti-critical race theory activist Christopher Rufo this week said he obtained information that Google has internally launched an initiative to portray the United States as a “system of white supremacy.” In one slide that was obtained via an alleged whistleblower, it shows a “white supremacy pyramid” that includes commentator Ben Shapiro and former President Donald Trump and suggests it leads to mass murder and included photos of mass shooters Anders Breivik and Brenton Tarrant.
Florida earlier this year passed a similar bill, but it has faced legal challenges and hurdles to enforcement. The measure required firms to be open about their content-moderation policies and tell users about policy changes.
A judge blocked enforcement of key provisions in the Florida law several months ago, claiming that it likely violated the First Amendment and violated federal laws.
Since the 2020 election, some conservatives have argued for the repeal of Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which serves as a liability shield for companies against harmful content that a user may post. Some have argued that tech companies have utilized the rule to exert too much power over what information people can consume.
HD Editors Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?
In recent months, we have seen a rising brazenness on the part of social media tech giants to silence conservative voices, chiefly those that oppose the Marxist, pro-abortion, LGBT, globalist, COVID totalitarian, and anti-God agendas being perpetrated by the left.
Although not what one might picture when thinking of the term “lawlessness,” this too is corrupt and lawless behavior. Tech giants continue to escape being held accountable for their attacks on the fundamental right of free speech, as well as their election meddling and suppression of truth.
We’ve never seen anything like this in the land of the free! Why? Because propaganda campaigns as well as the monitoring and censoring of citizens is communist policy. Dust off your history books.
Please understand the power of information and how it can be used as a weapon by those in power who control it.
We can no longer say as our great grandparents, ‘that could never happen in America.’ Here we are, friends. This is no longer just an insidious threat to the strength of the nation, it is an open assault on our free republic.
We should all be committed to the truth, but where power censorship is concerned there are no quick fixes. But we can raise awareness as much as possible, support new, Christian, conservative, and independent sites and sources. Regardless of this opposition to the biblical worldview, pray for the Gospel to advance, for open debate, fair elections, respectful disagreements, and freedom of speech in America for all people.
It is no surprise that satan hates those who speak the truth. This has been displayed throughout history, and it is specifically amplified today, just as the Bible outlined it would in the time prior to Jesus Return.
2 Timothy 3:1, 8-9 states that “perilous times” will come in which “men of corrupt minds” will “resist the truth.”
Romans 1:18 similarly states that the “wrath of God is revealed from heaven against” those “who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” The word “hold” in this verse, comes from the Greek word “κατέχω,” which means to “hold back,” “restrain,” or “hinder.”