Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The Supreme Court blocked a controversial Texas social media law from taking effect in a decision released (PDF) on Tuesday, after the tech industry and other opponents warned it could allow for hateful content to run rampant online. CNBC reports: The law, HB20, prohibits online platforms from moderating or removing content based on viewpoint. It stems from a common charge on the right that major California-based social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are biased in their moderation strategies and disproportionately quiet conservative voices. The platforms have said they apply their community guidelines evenly and it's often the case that right-leaning users rank among the highest in engagement. In the 5-4 decision, Alito dissented from the decision to lift the stay, issuing a written explanation for his vote, which was joined by two other conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch. Justice Elena Kagan, a liberal, also voted against vacating the stay. Alito's dissent opened by acknowledging the significance of the case for social media companies and for states that would regulate how those companies can control the content on their platforms. "This application concerns issues of great importance that will plainly merit this Court's review," Alito wrote. "Social media platforms have transformed the way people communicate with each other and obtain news. At issue is a ground-breaking Texas law that addresses the power of dominant social media corporations to shape public discussion of the important issues of the day." The Supreme Court's decision has implications for other states that may consider legislation similar to that in Texas. Florida's legislature has already passed a similar social media law, but it has so far been blocked by the courts.