"A federal appeals court on Friday allowed Texas to enforce a law that generally bans large social media companies from restricting posts based on the viewpoint of the speaker.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans rejected arguments that the Texas law interfered with the companies’ First Amendment rights to exercise editorial discretion. The appeals court called the argument “a rather odd inversion of the First Amendment.”
“The platforms argue that buried somewhere in the person’s enumerated right to free speech lies a corporation’s unenumerated right to muzzle speech,” the 5th Circuit said in the Sept. 16 opinion. “The implications of the platforms’ argument are staggering. On the platforms’ view, email providers, mobile phone companies and banks could cancel the accounts of anyone who sends an email, makes a phone call or spends money in support of a disfavored political party, candidate or business.”
The appeals court reversed a trial judge’s injunction blocking the law from taking effect. The decision is contrary to another decision by the 11th Circuit at Atlanta, which blocked a Florida law banning social media censorship in May. The Florida law bars social media companies from banning political candidates, deprioritizing political messages or censoring content by journalistic enterprises.”
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