Tech

Texas regulates how platforms modify content


The Texas governor has signed a bill regulating how social media companies edit content.

and prohibits Law The new, passed as HB 20 in early September, bans or restricts content based on a user’s or anyone else’s viewpoint, whether or not that view is expressed via the social media platform itself.

HB 20 also requires social media services to disclose how they promote and modify content and to authorize transparency reports similar to those produced by Facebook, Google and other major web companies.

If platforms are notified of illegal content, the law requires them to evaluate it within 48 hours, a policy that reflects at least one proposal in the US Congress.

And unlike Congress, the state legislature cannot override Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Which governs a lot of moderation of illegal content online.

Companies that break the rules may face a civil lawsuit or attorney general action. The law applies to web services with more than 50 million active users that allow people to communicate with other users for the primary purpose of posting information, comments, messages or images, and does not include Internet service providers, news or entertainment sites.

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Texas regulates how platforms modify content

The law also includes a section specifically targeting email platforms, making it illegal to intentionally impede sending an email message to another person based on the content of the message unless the company believes it contains malicious or obscene code or illegal content, or violations of existing Texas law Anti-spam.

The Texas law is one of many Republican efforts to intimidate web companies into removing unwanted but legal content. It is a battle that conservative politicians have framed as a fight against censorship with companies that look like telephone companies or other telecom facilities.

It follows a similar law in Florida that covers social media. And that, although it does not include some of the more characteristic provisions of that rule. Such as protecting political candidates and exempting park owners.

However, the future of al-Qaeda is uncertain. It likely faces legal challenges from critics, and is not designed to evade judicial scrutiny.

A judge banned Florida’s social media law in June. Saying it is forcing providers to host speech that violates their standards.

NetChoice, one of the plaintiffs in that lawsuit in Florida, issued a statement condemning the bill. “The HB 20 includes the same First Amendment flaws as the Florida law that a federal court blocked this summer,” he said in a statement.

Read also: America wants to analyze social media platforms

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