Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Announces On Twitter The Livestreaming On Facebook Of His Signing Of A Bill That Removes 1st Amendment Rights For Both

from the you-did-what-now? dept

We’ve talked a bunch about just how incredibly unconstitutional Texas’s social media content moderation bill, HB20 is, so I don’t really need to cover any of that again. You can look it up — or just read how a court found Florida’s similar bill unconstitutional.

Still, the entire point of this bill is to play up a culture war for grandstanding politicians, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants to grandstand with the best of them (even if he’s a pathetic copy of some of the other grandstanders in his party). Even so, it still was quite something to see Abbott announce on Twitter that people should watch him on Facebook as he signed the bill into law — a bill that would attempt to remove the 1st Amendment rights against compelled speech from both companies.

He’s doing this on the same day that the Justice Department is suing Texas for its equally unconstitutional anti-abortion “let everyone sue everyone and let the courts sort it out” bill.

I know that some people are concerned about this bill, and what awful things it will do for social media, but all it’s really going to do is waste a ton of taxpayer money in Texas, which Abbott and the other faux culture warriors want to use as basically taxpayer-funded campaign dollars to get their names in the headlines, talking about they’re “fighting for free speech” when all they’re doing is removing 1st Amendment rights, abusing the power the voters entrusted with them, and throwing their money away on lawyers who have nothing legitimate to defend.

It’s political theater, with your speech and your tax dollars being held hostage. No one should accept this as reasonable, but these are the times we live in, where corruption and violations of the oath of office for the sake of some dumb culture war are more important than governing and doing what’s right.

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Comments on “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Announces On Twitter The Livestreaming On Facebook Of His Signing Of A Bill That Removes 1st Amendment Rights For Both”

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This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Upstream (profile) says:

In the center ring . . .

It seems that Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are in an epic battle to see who can be the biggest horse’s ass in this performative authoritarian shit-show.

The shame of it all is that so many people are buying into their nonsense instead of writing it off as the natural fertilizer that it is.

Paul B says:

Re: Re: In the center ring . . .

Abbot knows his next election is going to be a quite the show. He fled Texas in the snow storm, he let power companies charge any rate they want after not winterizing them 10 years after the last storm, he could give a rats ass if Blue areas were freezing to death, and now he’s passing every Trump fueled law the state could ask for to appeal to his base that he’s actively using as a pawn in the whole covid mess.

The other side has so much it can throw at him, from dead relatives, to abandonment of the people in a time of crisis that he has to play "see, I get shit done" to his own base. Despite the fact that he’s being ignored by school districts, and I am fairly sure the large metro areas will ignore the "1 ballot box per county" law that was just passed as well.

Just the logistics of that last one alone screams voter suppression.

Its already time to get popcorn to watch the next Texas Election.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: In the center ring . . .

I’m interested but slightly concerned about the way the next elections go there. Both Abbott and Cruz have done more than enough for people to kick them out on their ass, and Cruz barely managed to beat Buttigieg last time around. But, the combination of dirty tricks and morons are concerning when you think about the potential for sanity to win out the day.

There’s room for an embarrassingly total defeat, but also room for something very bad.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Hypocrisy

I’m pretty sure the double standards, the inconsistent ethics and the disregard of rule of law, and equality are intentional and consistent with the agenda of Abbott, DeSantis, the GOP and the MAGA movement who are all, themselves parts of the transnational white power movement.

Their agenda is to secure an ethnostate for white male landowners, and to dispel the rights and liberties of everyone else, even if it means dissolving the democratic institutions of the US now that even those can’t be relied on to preserve the stratification of society.

They’re not interested in consistent rules for everyone, just rules that make sure white rich MAGA party members stay on top.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy

It’s a shame, really. If it weren’t for that pesky "Islam is culturally distinct from Christianity even though they technically worship the same god" thing, they’d already have several established theocracies to choose from. I wonder if there’s some way to change that so those places are more attractive, rather than trying to ruin everything for people who don’t belong to either sect.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Hypocrisy

If it weren’t for that pesky "Islam is culturally distinct from Christianity even though they technically worship the same god" thing

Give me a break. MAGA is culturally distinct from Christianity even though they technically worship the same God (more or less), too. The insane bullshit about Trump (a serial con artist, womanizer, hate monger, defrauder and certainly not going to fit through a needle’s ear even without taking all the stolen loot with him) being sent by God to the U.S. as God’s own nation: that just doesn’t fit anything in the Bible at all.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Hypocrisy

Well, true. These self-proclaimed "Christians" do have a very different idea of what that means to many other sects of their religion, and their adherence to someone who is essentially the poster boy for everything Christ opposed is fairly silly.

But, yeah, the only thing they object to in Islamic theocracies is the Islam part, they’re fine with everything else in principle.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Hypocrisy

Well, there are oppressive Islamic theocracies so it’s not really stereotyping. Claiming that all Muslims wish to live in such a place and they’re all do the same thing given the chance would be, but that’s the realm of people who don’t understand the fundamental issues in the middle east (such as Sunni vs Shia, etc.)

But, I’d maintain that apart from the Muslim thing, the majority of what the fundamentalist regimes in those places have done would be what the hardline fundamentalist Christians would do, with a few minor alterations.

Also, the Taliban aren’t exactly middle eastern.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

'Our fictional rights protect us against consequences!'

The only thing more pathetic than such a blatant attack on the first amendment and boasting about it on social media is that a higher than zero number of people have fallen for it either due to gullibility or because they refuse to accept what assholes they/their friends are and that that’s why social media platforms and the users on them don’t want them around.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: I wonder.

Didnt these public officials sign a contract to get into office?
And I would think the womens rights amendment should cover 1/2 of this problem.
I can see every women NOT re-electing Any of these people.

What ever happened to the idea that as long as I dont bother or hurt others, Im on my own?
I like the one about, in the past, the state ASKED the electric corps to Build abit of weather protection from COLD. This was NOT the first year this happened. And if ya dont know, its simple, that Natural gas turns solid below 30-40 degrees. So the system Lost all the pressure to make the gas FLOW, because it all went from Gas, liquid, to ICE(solid). All it would have taken is a heating system, and Gas lines BELOW 3 feet.(better at 5 foot). THE STATION froze. Not really the lines, if they had heated them,m there would NOT have been a problem.

NOW, twitter and FB have recourse. DONT LET POLITICIANS POST. LOVE IT

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: I wonder.

Didnt these public officials sign a contract to get into office?

Do they? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

And if ya dont know, its simple, that Natural gas turns solid below 30-40 degrees.

Natural gas is transported as a liquid by cooling it to -256 F.


The equipment in Texas froze, as well as losing the electrical power needed to operate.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 I wonder.

  • 2 –
    Oath of Office The constitutional oath of office taken by the members-elect is as follows: I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully
    execute the duties of the office of a member of the House of
    Representatives of the 82nd Legislature of the State of Texas,
    and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend
    the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this
    state, so help me God. A constitutional amendment adopted in 1989 eliminated the requirement that
    legislators and all other elected and appointed officials swear orally that they did not bribe
    anyone to obtain their office. They must, however, submit a signed oath making that
    declaration, and state officials must file it with the Secretary of State’s Office before
    taking their spoken oath of office (Texas Constitution, Art. 16, sec. 1).


Anonymous Coward says:

Secondary Objective

These people are reprehensible, but not stupid. It feels like this is to set groundwork for something else.

Now, while the law will obviously be challenged and thrown out, it feels like they are TRYING to get Facebook and Twitter (et al) to refuse service to Texans/Floridians.

After that, 2 things happen. Those getting a message that these firms are not going to allow people of their geography are goinf to scream bloody murder. Then, they’ll do everything geoblocked users do… find an alternative, such as a VPN.

Then, when Texans/Flordians start using Facebook/Twitter in their region against their ToS, they’ll either feel coerced to block certain users (a lot more lawsuits), or a message will emerge about the evils of "law destroying VPNs".

Messaging that will undoubtedly get snapped up by the Copyright protection racket and others from the Surveillance sectors.

I may sound paranoid, but that seems like a set of reasonable steps that could happen. Especially if certain starting points can be relied on so readily to protect snowflakes.

They are the small pebbles that cause a tsunami on the other side of the world.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s even funnier than that I’d say, more along the lines of ‘hallucinates facts directly contradicted by the evidence’ as by and large the people being moderated on social media are facing that due to valid reasons but the losers being kicked out simply refuse to admit it due to a mixture of cowardice and self-entitlement.

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restless94110 (profile) says:

Coming Around

This is what you get when you do not support Free Speech if you are a writer for Tech Dirt or you are a social media monopoly: politicians trying to fix it.

It needs fixing. You don’t like how they are trying to fit it Free speech means all speech. There is no sucha thing as hate speech (as the Supreme Court correctly says) so that means all speech by all people should be on social media all the time.

Don’t want to do that? Thank you’re snarky smart writing about content moderation and dissing conservatives who want free speech? What goes around comes around. At this point few care what politicians do to bring these totalitarian lunatics to heel.

Change it or Lose it. Do it voluntarily or we gonna figure out how to make you allow American values back into social media and the town square.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: we gonna figure how to make you allow American values ba

One thing I’ve noticed in these arguments – apart from having to put up with the occasional slaughter of innocents to keep hold of the toys that go bang, there’s pretty much nothing that these guys claim as American values that aren’t shared by other countries – and in many cases other countries are more free to enjoy them than they are. Even the morons – they’re usually louder in the US, but not necessarily more of them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Coming Around

All the constitution guarantees you is that the government will not stop you speaking or publishing your words. If other want to help you on a voluntary or contract basis they are free to do so, but they are not compelled to do so by the constitution. Ultimate all the constitution guarantees is that you can publish your own words at your own expense, and try to attract an audience for those words. It does not provide any means of compelling people to listen

What you keep demanding as a free speech right is compelled speech, and I bet you would complain that your free speech rights were violated if you are thrown out for heckling, and not allowing the speaker at a meeting to speak.

In summary, free speech means the government will not stop you speaking, but that does not means anybody else has to listen, or help you spread your words.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s a delightful self-own that the assholes being shown the door on social media platforms have been reduced to arguing that government mandated speech, in direct violation of both property rights and first amendment rights is now an ‘american value’. Dictators and communist leaders throughout history would be proud.

That aside though I know that much like Koby they’ll never answer it would be interesting to know what specific ‘american values’ they think are being shown the door on social media.

Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"American" as in "Confederate States of America"

Not really. What was an amendment in the U.S. Constitution was actually embedded in the Confederate Constitution: freedom of speech was deemed a core value.

Sure, these core values were mainly for white property owning males.

I believe that, while there may be very fine people on both sides'', the general intent is to foster white supremacy andaryan” purity. Obviously non-whites ought not vote; we see that being worked on in several states in the name of election security.

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

What was an amendment in the U.S. Constitution was actually embedded in the Confederate Constitution: freedom of speech was deemed a core value.

I’m aware of that. I’ve read the Confederate constitution. In fact, having read it at the time, I then became aware of the lies my history teacher told me about the Civil War being about "states rights" and it being really about slavery, since that’s what the Confederate constitution had said (and didn’t even consider black people as anything other than property at all, let alone 3/5 of a person).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Coming Around

Do it voluntarily or we gonna figure out how to make you allow American values back into social media and the town square.

Like on January 6?

The Second Amendment doesn’t mean you damn NeoNazis gets to have all the guns, you know.

We know exactly HOW you’re gonna force your anti-American values onto Democrat voters first, then the world. And I’m more than HAPPY to fight fire with fire.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Toom1275 (profile) says:

Gov. Abattoir claims this law bans the "censorship" of "Conservative Viewpoints."

From other coverage on the law:

During debate last week, Texas Democrats offered amendments that would explicitly allow social media platforms to take down posts related to Holocaust denial, domestic and international terrorism, and vaccine disinformation. Republicans succeeded in defeating all three."

So Texas’s Republican politicians have given us documented evidence of exactly what Republicans believe their "Conservative viewpoints" are.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: No wonder they always try to dodge the question

It was a well played move on the part of the democrats, forcing texas republicans to either throw their own voters under the bus by agreeing to the amendments or making clear that holocaust denial, pro-terrorism and anti-vaccine content are all considered ‘conservative viewpoints’ and whether or not the bill is struck down as the blatantly unconstitutional garbage that it is they were forced to be honest for once about what they really mean when they talk about ‘conservative viewpoints’ and to say it’s not a good look is putting it mildly.

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