Two tech trade groups, NetChoice and CCIA, filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block a Texas law governing social media platforms' ability to moderate content. The law, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed earlier this month, forces tech platforms to carry certain types of speech that they would otherwise prohibit — a violation of the First Amendment, the groups argue.
In a statement, NetChoice CEOSteve DelBianco said the law, called HB 20, "threaten[s] the safety of users, creators, and businesses."
"No American should ever be forced to navigate through harmful and offensive images, videos and posts," Delbianco said.
The law has quickly drawn comparisons to a similar law adopted in Florida by Gov. Ron DeSantis, which was almost immediately blocked by the courts. "Given that Florida's similar law has been enjoined because of constitutional violations, Texas should repeal this flawed attempt to force private businesses to host political speech against their will," DelBianco said.
The suit argues that social media companies have a First Amendment right to exercise editorial judgment and that the Texas law, which prohibits banning content based on "the viewpoint of the user or another person," violates that right.