Fifth Circuit Federal Judge Andrew S. Oldham ruled on Friday social media platforms do not have a “freewheeling First Amendment right” to censor what people say on their platforms.
Oldham ruled against a lawsuit challenging Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s HB 20, a bill that prohibits social media platforms with over 50 million monthly users from censoring people’s speech based on a viewpoint. “Buried somewhere in the person’s enumerated right to free speech lies a corporation’s unenumerated right to muzzle speech. Today we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say,” Judge Oldham stated.
“I just secured a MASSIVE VICTORY for the Constitution & Free Speech in fed court: #BigTech CANNOT censor the political voices of ANY Texan,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton celebrated on Twitter.
“NetChoice, a nonprofit group representing Meta in the challenge against the Texas law, said in a statement they are ‘disappointed” with the decision. ‘ We remain convinced that when the U.S. Supreme Court hears one of our cases, it will uphold the First Amendment rights of websites, platforms, and apps,” Fox News reported.
Social media censorship has been such an issue for conservatives that Trump launched his own social media platform, Truth Social, to provide himself and his supporters a platform to speak.
“Truth is doing amazing, the most engaged social media platform anywhere on the Internet! And now businesses who want to sell their great products to REAL people—not BOTS!—can buy localized ads on TRUTH via Rumble Ads,” Trump wrote on Truth Social on Wednesday.
Truth Social “last year lined up dozens of investors to pump $1 billion into the company, but can’t get the cash until the Digital World acquisition is completed. An additional $300 million would come from Digital World itself,” according to a report.
In July 2021, Trump even filed a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google that sought for the restoration of Trump’s social media accounts.
“We will achieve a historic victory for American freedom and at the same time, freedom of speech,” Trump said. “We are demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and canceling that you know so well,” Trump continued.
“I am confident that we will achieve a historic victory for American freedom and at the same time freedom of speech,” Trump added.