North Texas Daily

Gov. Abbott is more interested in social media than in helping people

Gov. Abbott is more interested in social media than in helping people

Gov. Abbott is more interested in social media than in helping people
March 20
13:00 2021

Gov. Greg Abbott recently voiced his support for a bill that would protect Texans from being wrongfully banned on social media during a Mar. 5 press release. Abbott stated that Facebook and Twitter are leading a “dangerous movement to silence conservative voices and religious freedoms.” The bill would allow those banned from social media companies the right to sue so they can re-activate their accounts.

Abbott feels that censoring conservative voices is un-American and he is half right. Wrongful censorship of any voice is un-American, but he needs to understand that social media corporations have the right to operate their business anyway they see to it. To scale it back down, he has to think of social media companies being ran like mom-and-pop shops who have the right to refuse service to anyone they like since they are a private owned store.

Chain stores such as Walmart, Express or Bed Bath and Beyond, are typically barred from discriminating against employees or customers. An exception would be the right to refuse service to customers who refuse to cooperate with federal regulations in place such as putting on a mask before entering a store.

So, what’s Abbott’s defense? He brought up Section 230, a 1996 federal law that offers protection from private blocking on social media platforms. Findings in the law show that the internet is meant to offer diversity, political discourse and unique opportunities for cultural development while keeping government regulation to a minimum. However, the same law states under civil liability that any action taken by a provider or user to restrict access from users who promote material that is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable shall be held liable.

Abbott’s primary focus on social media laws is a good example of his inability to prioritize. Abbott has a duty to serve all Texas citizens, not just those who support him. Abbott botched his handling of the winter storm, a move that left many citizens without running water. Abbott made no effort to help provide clean and useable water for Texans affected by the energy crisis, instead he went on Sean Hannity and blamed his problems on liberals for pushing environmental policies, a false statement by the way.

Abbott isn’t interested in helping Texans like you and me. He’s more interested in making sure people like him don’t get banned on Facebook for pushing false information, calls for violence and hate speech, which is not protected by the First Amendment anyways. If Abbott believes his free speech rights are being infringed upon, I could recommend an app that protects free speech enthusiasts like himself. Sure it has its fair share of homophobes, white supremacists and tin foil hats but I guess you have to take the good with the bad on Parler. Or he might even feel at home, you never know.

It’s hard for me to reconcile that the governor who was voted in to represent us is a man who is marching forward in a battle he made up in his own mind. There is no evidence that conservatives are being silenced on social media, New York University studies have even supported that notion.

When faced with real world issues, all Abbott is capable of is to blame the other side and speak with political leaders, as if that gives people running water. If anyone deserves to be blacklisted it is Abbott from his position.

Featured Illustration by Olivia Varnell

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Adrian Maldonado

Adrian Maldonado

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