Free Speech Battles Unfold in California and Texas
(RepublicanNews.org) – The 1st Amendment faces another challenge now that California has passed a tough new hate speech law. The legislation aims at controlling expression on social media, and it’s the opposite of anti-censorship laws red states are currently passing. Industry giants are taking issue with both sides.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 20, 2022
Tech groups are suing Florida and Texas over new laws that restrict their ability to censor content on social media platforms. They’re thinking about suing California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) too. The liberal leader signed an online transparency law on September 13 aimed at countering online abuse, forcing social media platforms to publicly post their hate speech policies.
According to Adam Kovacevich, the CEO of industry group Chamber of Progress, all three states’ bills are converging on the same ideas despite the Texas and Florida text being written by conservatives and the California law coming from progressives. He said they all have similar transparency requirements and added, “Our view is that they’re all unconstitutional.”
As well as mandating censorship policies, California law also requires companies to send data on policy violations to the state attorney general. Newsom hopes it will cut down on online hate speech, but NetChoice vice president Carl Szabo says all the change will do is give extremists the information they need to evade the rules.
Apparently, however elected politicians act in their attempts to improve Internet policy, the tech industry will be unhappy with the move.
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