The US Supreme Court has blocked a Texas law prohibiting social media giants from regulating certain types of online speech.
The bill would have prohibited larger tech companies from banning or censoring Texas users based on their political beliefs.
Republicans in the state said it was necessary to combat social media’s alleged liberal bias.
However, tech groups argued that the law violated private companies’ free speech rights.
The US Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday, in a rare 5-4 decision, to a request supported by tech titans to temporarily halt the law’s implementation.
Industry groups suing to overturn the legislation claimed that it violated the right to free expression, including the freedom of private companies to decide what content to publish on their platforms.
Without the ability to moderate their platforms, Silicon Valley campaigners claimed that the state legislation would have turned Facebook, Twitter and YouTube into “havens of the vilest expression imaginable”.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who signed the bill into law in September of last year, stated at the time that the measure was intended to prevent bias against conservative viewpoints while also protecting free speech.
He argued that social media companies are “our modern-day public square,” where debate should be free. “A dangerous trend among social media companies is to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas.”