When it comes to free speech, social media does not believe such a right exists. Texas AG Ken Paxton has led a fight for freedom of speech.
Don’t get me wrong, social media believes in freedom of speech, it’s the freedom after the speech they seem to have a problem with.
If you question the beliefs of the fat left, no matter how much evidence you have backing you up, there is an excellent chance you will either be banned or your reach cut to up to 93%, as The Gateway Pundit has.
The idea that everyone is allowed in this country has vanished as social media now controls the narrative. But, in Texas, a law was passed that forbade social media from censoring people and websites simply because of their political beliefs. Social media went to federal court to challenge the law.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals gave ken Paxton the victory he sought. The court rejected the idea that Big Tech had the freedom of speech to censor those who disagree with their extreme left ideology.
This victory is exclusive to Texas only, but there are other cases working their way through the courts as we celebrate this victory. As it stands now, social media cannot censor bloggers or websites based in Texas. Social media can now appeal to the Supreme Court, but I would have to believe that SCOTUS would not issue a restraining order against the Texas law pending their review.
In fact, unless 4 Justices agree to hear the case, SCOTUS could just allow the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court to stand. Or, they could review the case in order to make the matter settled law, in which case bloggers and websites could start suing social media for damages, both real and punitive based on their loss of revenue. Again, this would only apply to Texas-based outlets at this time.
BREAKING: I just secured a MASSIVE VICTORY for the Constitution & Free Speech in fed court: #BigTech CANNOT censor the political voices of ANY Texan! The 5th Circuit “reject[s] the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say. pic.twitter.com/UijlzYcv7r
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) September 16, 2022
This is a major victory in an ongoing battle over censorship and protections afforded to social media outlets. This, according to Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. Even though the 1996 Communications Decency Act claims that the bill offers a forum for a true diversity of political discourse, and unique opportunities for cultural development, Section 230 has been used to thwart any attempts to protect free speech.
Judge Oldham touches on this concept in his 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. What’s worse, the platforms argue that a business can acquire a dominant market position by holding itself out as open to everyone – as Twitter did in championing itself as “the free speech wing of the free speech party.” Then, having cemented itself as the monopolist of “the modern public square”, Twitter unapologetically argues that it could turn and ban all pro-LGBT speech for no other reason than its employees want to pick on members of that community.”
Justice Clarence Thomas has implied that social media platforms need to be treated as “common carriers”, much like your cell phone. This may be exactly the case that Justice Thomas was looking for when he said:
“Also unprecedented, however, is the concentrated control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties. We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms.”
We may have a long way to go in the fight for freedom of speech, but, it is considerably shorter thanks to Friday’s court decision.