Texas Law vs. Social Media Platforms

Brandon McCauley
Brandon McCauley
December 5th, 2021

Over the weekend, a federal judge blocked a Texas state law that bans social media platforms from engaging in what it defines as “censorship.” In the final ruling, the judge determined that the law would violate a social networks’ First Amendment right to moderate user-submitted content.

What was in the law?

According to the Texas legislature, the law was “relating to censorship of or certain other interference with digital expression, including expression on social media platforms or through electronic mail messages.” Despite all of the legalese, this can more or less be understood as simply allowing users to say what ever they want on social media.

A key detail within the law was that it defined social media platforms as “common carriers,” which are commercial enterprises that transport goods and are available to the general public. Under this label, social media companies would not only be subjected to increased regulation, but would also be compelled to comply with the rest of the Texas legislation. Such stipulations include preventing moderation regarding:

  • The viewpoint of the user or another person
  • The viewpoint represented in the user’s expression or another person’s expression
  • A user’s geographic location within Texas

Are Social Networks Common Carriers?

According to the judge ruling in the Texas case, no, they aren’t.

In fact, the judge explicitly stated that “social media platforms are not mere conduits,” and that “user-generated content on social media platforms is screened and sometimes moderated or curated.” In other words, social media platforms are not obligated to allow anything on their sites and are free to rid themselves of anything they deem against their terms of service.

The Power of a Social Media Post

Despite all of this talk about what is and isn’t allowed on social media platforms, that does not mean that the general public is entirely thrilled. As we at Redact have covered before, social media posts are very powerful from a public perspective. Not only that, but there has been an increased sentiment for people’s posts and other information to be kept private.

With both of those things in mind, many people are looking to clean out all of their old social media posts to avoid any potential headaches in the future – and Redact is here to make that process a breeze!

Using Redact, you can delete thousands of old posts and DM’s across a variety of platforms, like Twitter and Instagram, with just the click of a button! Make your digital footprint disappear today by visiting redact.dev/download!

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