Tech firms request US top court to block Texas social media law

Lobbying groups representing Facebook (FB.O), Twitter (TWTR.N), Google (GOOGL.O), and other tech companies filed an emergency request with the United States Supreme Court, requesting that a Texas law prohibiting large social media platforms from banning users based on their political views be struck down.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals approved the state’s request for a stay of a district judge’s injunction barring the legislation, and the statute took effect on Wednesday.

The rule prohibits firms with more than 50 million monthly active users from removing individuals based on their political beliefs and compels them to publicly explain how they manage material.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed it into law in September.

The proposal was challenged in court by Internet advocacy groups NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, and U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin, Texas, imposed a preliminary injunction in December.

Pitman concluded that the measure would violate social media businesses’ First Amendment free expression rights.

The tech organizations requested the Supreme Court to “allow the District Court’s thoughtful reasoning to stay in force while an orderly appeal process plays out” in their emergency request.

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