Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Announces Bill Prohibiting Social Media Censorship

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) announced on Friday that he plans to sign a bill into law that would prohibit social media companies from censoring Texans’ viewpoints online, adding that censorship is “not going to be tolerated in Texas.”

“We see that the First Amendment is under assault by these social media companies, and that is not going to be tolerated in Texas,” said Governor Abbott at a press conference on Friday alongside State Senator Bryan Hughes (R).

“There is a dangerous movement spreading across the country trying to try to silence conservative ideas, religious beliefs,” the governor added. “We saw that first arise on college campuses.”

In 2019, Governor Abbott signed into law the “Campus Free Speech” law, ensuring that students’ First Amendment rights would be protected on college campuses.

“But now,” Abbott continued, “these social media tech companies are using their tools to silence conservative speech on their platforms.”

The governor added that senator Hughes’ Senate Bill 12 will protect Texans “from being wrongfully censored on social media, making sure that their voices are going to be heard and canceled or silenced.”

Abbott went on to note that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter “have evolved into the modern-day public square.”

“These are the areas that used to be the courthouse square where people would come and talk,” said Abbott. “Now, people are going to Facebook and Twitter to talk about their political ideas, and what Facebook and Twitter are doing — they are controlling the flow of information, and sometimes denying the flow of information.”

“Texas is taking a stand against big tech political censorship. We are not going to allow it in the Lone Star state,” Governor Abbott affirmed.

The governor explained that Senator Hughes’ legislation will prohibit social media companies from censoring Texans based upon their viewpoints.

“It would also allow any Texan who has been canceled or censored or de-platformed to be able to file a lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook, or any of these other companies, and make sure they are able to get back on,” said Abbott.

“The United States of America was built on freedom of speech and healthy public debate,” the governor added. “Big tech’s efforts to silence conservative viewpoints is un-American, un-Texan, and it is unacceptable. And pretty soon, it’s going to be against the law in the state of Texas.”

Senator Hughes also expressed his concerns regarding Americans being “locked out social media for not conforming to a narrow worldview” approved by the political left, and explained why it should be illegal for social media companies to behave in this manner.

“We don’t allow your phone company to cut you off because they don’t like your politics, your cable company can’t cut you off because of your religion,” said Hughes. “These social media companies are common carriers. They have chosen to enter into that business, and they cannot discriminate against people in a violation of the First Amendment.”

Governor Abbott says that he looks forward to signing the bill into law.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.

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Laura Loomer Files for Second Congressional Run in Florida Despite Widespread Blacklisting

Laura Loomer, the only Republican congressional candidate who was banned from every major social media platform while running in 2020 (as well as PayPal, GoFundMe, and a number of other online services), has filed to run again in 2022.

Loomer will once again contest Florida’s blue-leaning 21st congressional district, currently held by Democrat Lois Frankel.

The Republican is making the issue of Big Tech a central pillar of her campaign. In her press release announcing the run, Loomer emphasized the difficulties of contesting elections while remaining banned from every major platform.

“I have been patient zero in Big-Tech’s plot to silence and censor conservative voices and interfere in our elections,” said Loomer.

“Candidates have come to depend on social media to efficiently and effectively get their messages to voters, fundraise, advertise, and participate in public discourse.”

“I know firsthand of the dangers this poses to personal liberty, our constitutional right to free speech, free and fair elections, and the concept of sovereign nations.”

Loomer has called for criminal charges against the tech giants, accusing them of election interference that “violates the bedrock of our democracy.”

The Republican governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has pledged to approve some of the aggressive protections against Big Tech censorship seen in America during this legislative session.

In a major announcement last month, DeSantis promised to introduce laws mandating opt-outs from Big Tech’s content filters for Florida citizens.

He also pledged specific protections for political candidates, with fines of $100,000 per day on platforms that ban candidates for elected office in Florida.

While the details of this legislation have yet to be released, such a protection could potentially apply to Loomer, if she wins the Republican nomination for her district in 2022.

Should he choose to run for office again, it could also apply to former President Donald Trump, who was banned from most major platforms in January, sparking global outrage over Big Tech’s unchecked power.

However, this will depend on a key detail — whether Florida’s legislation mandates the restoration of platform access to previously-banned candidates, or if it merely protects candidates from future blacklisting.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.

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YouTube Says Donald Trump's Account to Remain Blacklisted Until 'Risk of Violence Has Decreased'

Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of Google-owned YouTube, said on Thursday that former President Donald Trump’s account on the platform will remain blacklisted until the “risk of violence has decreased,” adding that Trump’s channel could be permanently banned if he continues to violate the site’s policies after being unsuspended in the future.

Wojcicki said that the decision to suspend Trump’s YouTube account was made after the Capitol Hill riot on January 6, when the company reviewed the president’s account and found content that it believed was in violation of the site’s “incitement to violence” policy. Her comments came during an Atlantic Council event.

“As a result, we removed those videos very quickly, and when we see a violation of our policy, we suspend the channel for seven days,” said Wojcicki during an Atlantic Council forum on Thursday.

“Now, it’s a minimum of seven days,” added the YouTube CEO. “The channel remains suspended due to the risk of incitement to violence.”

“Given just the warnings by the Capitol police yesterday about a potential attack today, I think it’s pretty clear that that elevated violence risk still remains,” added Wojcicki.

The Capitol police were reportedly worried of “a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group” on March 4. No such activity, however, ended up occuring.

“I do want to confirm that we will lift the suspension of the channel,” Wojcicki continued. “We will lift the suspension of the Donald Trump channel when we determine that the risk of violence has decreased.”

The YouTube CEO went on to suggest that Trump’s suspension eventually being lifted is no guarantee that the former president will get to remain on the platform indefinitely.

“But when the channel is reinstated, it will be subject to the same policies that every other channel follows,” said Wojcicki.

“If we see content that is uploaded that in any way violates any of our policies — incitement to violence or any kind of election integrity policy violations — then a second strike will be issued, and when there are three strikes within a 90-day period, then the channel is removed,” added the YouTube CEO.

When asked how YouTube will measure the so-called “danger” being reduced, Wojcicki said that the company will look toward the government for answers.

“The way we would determine whether or not that risk of violence has decreased — is by looking at government statements, government warnings,” said Wojcicki.

“We certainly would look at increased law enforcement around the country,” added the YouTube CEO. “We also would look at any kind of violent rhetoric that we see on our platform.”

“But there still is that elevated risk of violence,” affirmed Wojcicki of the danger level as of Thursday.

On Thursday, YouTube blacklisted Trump’s speech at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and gave the Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN) a two-week suspension from YouTube because it covered the former president’s speech.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.

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