Tech companies ask US Supreme Court to block Texas social media law

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WASHINGTON: Lobby groups representing Facebook, Twitter, Google and other tech companies filed an emergency petition with the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, seeking to block a Texas law that bars major media platforms from social media to ban users because of their political views.

The Texas law went into effect Wednesday when the 5th United States Circuit Court of Appeals granted the state’s request to stay a district judge’s injunction blocking the law.

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The law prohibits social media companies with more than 50 million monthly active users from banning members because of their political views and requires them to publicly disclose how they moderate content.

It was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, in September.

Internet lobbying groups NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association filed a lawsuit against the measure, and U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction in December.

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Pitman had found that the law would infringe on the free speech rights of social media companies under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

The tech groups, in their emergency petition, asked the Supreme Court to “allow the district court’s careful reasoning to remain in effect while an orderly appeals process unfolds.”

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