The Supreme Court of the United States has blocked a law that would forbid social media platforms from regulating speech online, according to the BBC.
If enacted the legislation would have kept large tech companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, from banning or censoring Texas users for views that violated company policy.
Republicans were supporting the law saying that the state needed to work to combat liberal media bias, while tech groups argued that the law violated the rights of free companies.
“In a rare 5-4 ruling, the US’s top court agreed on Tuesday to a request supported by tech giants to temporarily block the law from coming into force,” the BBC reported.
“Industry groups suing against the legislation argued that it violated the right to free speech, which included the freedom of private companies to decide what content to publish on their platforms.”
According to Silicon Valley campaigners, if they lose the ability to moderate their platforms, state legislatures would have turned Facebook, Twitter and YouTube into “havens of the vilest expression imaginable.”
The bill was signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last fall, saying that the measure was meant to prevent bias against conservatives viewpoints.
Social media companies are “our modern-day public square” where the debate should flow freely, he argued. “There is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas.”
Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s YouTube all fell within the scope of the bill, should it have been enacted, the high court did not offer details about the reasons behind their opinion.