Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says a new bill will prohibit social media companies from censoring Texans ''based on the viewpoints they express,'' mirroring similar efforts by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to crack down on Big Tech.
"Conservative speech will not be canceled in the state of Texas," Abbott said during a press conference Friday. "We see that the First Amendment is under assault by the social media companies, and that is not going to be tolerated in Texas."
Conservatives have long complained that major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube show bias against the right, opinions that intensified after all three banned former President Donald Trump during his final days in office following the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The Texas bill, introduced by GOP state Sen. Bryan Hughes, declares that social media platforms are ''central public forums for public debate'' and protect Texans from ''being wrongfully censored on social media, making sure that their voices are going to be heard and not canceled or silenced," said Abbott.
Websites like Facebook and Twitter ''are choosing which viewpoints are going to be allowed to be presented," he said. "Texas is taking a stand against Big Tech political censorship: We're not going to allow it in the Lone Star state."
DeSantis' bill would prevent platforms from rapidly changing standards, allow people to opt out of content algorithms, create a "cause of action" pathway for legal action and fine tech companies $100,000 daily for "deplatforming" political candidates.
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