Hello and welcome to Everything in Moderation, your guide to what's happening in online safety and content moderation, now and in the future. It's written, as ever, by me, Ben Whitelaw.
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In last week's newsletter, I asked about whether the newsletter was getting too long and lots of you got in touch (thanks by the way) to say you preferred a comprehensive overview. Which is lucky, because there are a number of important stories — from America's southern states to the east coast of Africa — that require close attention.
Here's what you need to know this week. Thanks for reading - BW
Policies - emerging speech regulation and legislation
Back in September, I said that (EiM #126) it was hard to say which way the controversial Texas bill would go. This week, we got the answer. NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry (CCIA) failed to block the HB 20 bill, as they had done in Florida last year, meaning that services with over 50 million active monthly users must not restrict content based on "the viewpoint of the user" with immediate effect.
The reaction has been almost universal among the policy/legal experts that I follow: it's been called a "clear First Amendment violation", "insane", "monumentally stupid" and "constitutionally rotten" while American attorney Ken White, aka @Popehat, has an arm-long list of reasons why it's dumb.