Texas Governor Greg Abbott is endorsing a state senate bill that would permit Texans to sue big tech giants if they are censored for their political views.
“We need to recognize in Texas– maybe in particular in Texas– we see that the First Amendment is under assault by these social media companies,” Governor Abbott said Friday. “And that is not going to be tolerated in Texas.”
“There is a dangerous movement that is spreading across the country to try to silence conservative ideas, religious beliefs,” Abbott continued. “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.”
“But now we’re also seeing the same way that these social media tech companies are using their tools to silence conservative speech on their platforms,’ he added. “Senator Hughes’s bill, Senate Bill 12, protects Texans from being wrongfully censored on social media, making sure that their voices are going to be heard, and not canceled or silenced. Social media sites like Twitter, like Facebook, they have evolved into the modern day public square.”
“These are the areas that– it used to be the courthouse square where people would come to talk,” he said. “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.”
“And they are being in the position where they are choosing which viewpoints are going to be allowed to be presented,” he went on.
Then the Texas governor explained what the legislation intends to do about it.
“What Senator Hughes’s legislation does is it prohibits social media companies from censoring Texans based upon Texans’ viewpoints,” he said. “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 so they can share their viewpoints, so that we can have a robust conversation on all of these platforms about our political viewpoints.”
“The United States of America was built on freedom of speech and healthy public debate,” he said. “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.”
Governor Abbott is not the only governor looking to take a stand against Big Tech companies seeking to censor political viewpoints from being shared. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has also made several major legislative proposals to fight back against Big Tech election interference.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.