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Court lets Texas restrictions on internet moderation take effect


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A controversial Texas social media law will take effect following a ruling today from a US appeals court. The law allows Paxton’s office or Texas residents to sue social networks that moderate based on “the viewpoint of the user or another person,” among other offenses — language that potentially makes basic moderation decisions legally risky. Opponents of the law managed to block HB 20 in court last year, but this victory has been undone by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which today granted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s request for a stay in NetChoice and CCIA v. Paxton.

The ruling follows a confusing hearing where a Fifth Circuit judge claimed web services like Twitter “are not websites” and compared them to phone companies like Verizon, which are governed under common carrier law. NetChoice and the CCIA can choose to mount an emergency ...


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