United States of America: Lifted injunction on House Bill 20 restricting social media content moderation and user blocking

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Description

Lifted injunction on House Bill 20 restricting social media content moderation and user blocking

On 11 May 2022, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals announced a ruling granting the Texas District Attorney a request for stay in the case of "NetChoice and CCIA v. Paxton". This results in the lifting of the previous injunction which blocked the law, which will go into effect while the case continues to the Supreme Court. The Bill limits the ability of social media companies with more than 50 million users to ban users based on their political views. Furthermore, the companies will be required to disclose the guidelines and rules they apply when they remove content from their platforms and put in place a complaint and appeals process for the removed content. The act also requires the review and removal of illegal content within 48 hours. Individuals residing in Texas will be able to sue the companies if they are censored based on political views or the attorney general can bring charges on their behalf. The injunction was granted because the plaintiffs challenged the Bill arguing that it violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution due to its vagueness and due process clause violation. The Court held that the First Amendment grants the right to exercise editorial discretion, thus giving social media platforms the right to moderate their content. Moreover, the jurisprudence shows that the states do not have a legitimate governmental interest in balancing the exchange of ideas among private speakers. Therefore, the Court ordered a preliminary injunction of the Bill.

Original source

Scope

Policy Area
Content-related regulation and IP
Policy Instrument
User speech rights
Regulated Economic Activity
platform provider
Implementation Level
subnational
Government Branch
legislature
Government Body
parliament

Complete timeline of this policy change

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2021-08-05
under deliberation

The Governor Texas House Bill 20 on the safeguard of freedom of speech on social media is introduce…

2021-08-10
under deliberation

On 10 August 2021, House Bill 20 (HB 20) is introduced in the Texas House of Representatives. The B…

2021-08-31
under deliberation

On 31 August 2021, the Texas Senate passed House Bill 20 (HB 20). The Bill limits the ability of so…

2021-09-09
adopted

On 9 September 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law House Bill 20. The Bill limits soci…

2021-12-01
adopted

The Texas House Bill 20 is blocked by an order of the United States District Court for the Western …

2021-12-01
under litigation

The Texas House Bill 20 is blocked by an order of the United States District Court for the Western …

2022-05-11
in force

On 11 May 2022, the U.S. Fifth Circuit of Appeals Court announced a ruling granting Texan District …

2022-05-11
in force

On 11 May 2022, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals announced a ruling granting the Texas Distr…

2022-05-13
under appeal

On 13 May 2022, NetChoice LLC and CCIA filed for an emergency stay with the Supreme Court after the…

Key regulatory dimensions

Regulated subjects

The businesses, government agencies or individuals affected by this policy or regulatory change.
producer / supplier
1
Type Private organisation
Economic activity platform provider
Category All

Policy change by business practice

The detailed activities within the scope of this policy or regulatory change.
user content: any format: hosting (any form)
Regulatory tool
User or public reporting requirement
Content takedown prohibition
Complaint mechanism requirement
Sanctions
Regulated subjects
1

Policy change by business practice

The detailed activities within the scope of this policy or regulatory change.

user content: any format: hosting (any form)