Texas Governor Greg Abbott signs new bill, passes social media 'de-platforming' law
- Earlier, former US President Donald Trump was banned from facebook and Twitter
- The social networks have all denied stifling conservative views
- The law is due to come into force in December
Texas governor Greg Abbott on Thursday signed a bill into law and made it illegal for social media platforms to ban users "based on their political viewpoints". Earlier, several Republican politicians had accused Facebook, Twitter and others of censoring conservative views.
In January, former US president Donald Trump was banned from Facebook and Twitter after a group of his supporters attacked the Capitol. The social networks have all denied stifling conservative views.
However, they do enforce terms of service which prohibit content such as incitement to violence and co-ordinated disinformation.
"Social media websites have become our modern-day public square," said Texas governor Greg Abbott, after signing the bill into law on Thursday.
"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," the governor had said.
According to the new law, the social media platforms with more than 50 million users cannot ban people based on their political viewpoints. It can be seen that Facebook, Twitter and Google's YouTube are within its scope.
Meanwhile, several critics have raised their voice and said that the law does not respect the constitutional right of private businesses to decide what sort of content is allowed on their platforms.
"This bill abandons conservative values, violates the First Amendment, and forces websites to host obscene, anti-semitic, racist, hateful and otherwise awful content," said Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice trade association.
However, the law is due to come into force in December. It may face legal challenges.