AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill partially authored by Sen. Bryan Hughes made to protect Texans from wrongful censorship on social media.
The legislation requires large social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to make regular reports of removed content, create a complaint system and disclose their content regulation procedures, according to the Texas Tribune.
Abbott was joined at the signing by Hughes and Rep. Briscoe Cain, who are the authors of the bill. Sen. Charles Perry, Sen. Dawn Buckingham and Sen. Angela Paxton were also present.
“We will always defend the freedom of speech in Texas, which is why I am proud to sign House Bill 20 into law to protect first amendment rights in the Lone Star State. Social media websites have become our modern-day public square. They are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely — but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas. That is wrong, and we will not allow it in Texas. I thank Senator Bryan Hughes, Representative Briscoe Cain, and the Texas Legislature for ensuring that House Bill 20 reached my desk during the second special session.”Gov. Greg Abbott
Specifically, the bill prevents social media companies with more than 50 million monthly users from banning users based on their political viewpoints. It also requires sites to disclose their content management and moderation policies and implement a complaint and appeals process for content they remove, providing a reason for the removal and a review of their decision.
They now must also review and remove illegal content within 48 hours. The bill also prohibits email service providers from impeding the transmission of email messages based on content.